Saturday, 17 January 2009

The Cipriano case: Joana was battered to death by her uncle.



The new witness statement has been written by Marcos Aragão.

Yesterday, the lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia revealed to the press, outside the trial of the five PJ inspectors, a document signed by Léonor Cipriano, in which Joana's mother accuses her brother, João Cipriano, of being the sole perpetrator of the little girl's murder.

In this eight page document, written by hand by the lawyer, Léonor Cipriano explains that her brother convinced her to sell Joana, but that "the people didn't have the money promised (an amount Léonor has not revealed) and João did not hand over the girl.

(To read the complete document click here for the photos or the PDF).

This umpteenth version is, according to Marcos Aragão, "the true story," Léonor's witness statement recounting exactly what allegedly happened to her daughter Joana, who disappeared in September 2004.

"When Joana left the house, the intention was to hand her over to the people and simulate a kidnapping," the lawyer states, explaining that her uncle, João Cipriano, had taken along the little girl's clothes in a large bag.

According to Marcos Aragão, Joana allegedly heard the whole discussion between João and the buyers, threatening her uncle, "that she was going to tell everything," after which, "he allegedly started battering her, finishing up killing her."

According to this new witness statement, written by Marcos Aragão, Léonor was not present at the time of Joana's death but João Cipriano allegedly confessed his crime to her: when he came home, he tried to hide the murder, but, at Léonor's insistence, who allegedly detected traces of blood on her brother's trousers, João ended up admitting having killed Joana and having hidden the body in a place close to the house before burying it the next day.

Umpteenth version targets Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator.

It was outside the trial of the five PJ inspectors that Marcos Aragão Correia - the same lawyer who stated that he had a vision that Maddie's body was in the deep waters of the Arade Dam - chose to present the document to the press, stressing that Léonor, "decided to leave this out and say that she knew nothing," because of, "her brother's threats," but that the confession of her participation in Joana's murder was allegedly made, "under torture," when she was interviewed by the PJ inspectors.

The new version of the events surrounding Joana's death will, meanwhile, be used by Léonor's lawyer to point the finger at former inspector, Gonçalo Amaral, officer for the disappearance and death of Joana in 2004 and of Madeleine McCann in 2007.

amaral large 2.jpg

In the document which the lawyer wrote and Léonor signed, the former inspector is accused of knowing the truth: "If Mr Amaral knows it, then why did he ask people to beat me up? Why?"

In statements to the Portuguese press, the former coordinator of the PJ's DIC in Portimao, contented himself with saying that Léonor Cipriano was already considered to be a psychopath (see the video by the psychologist Paulo Sargento) and that she was lying, stressing that Joana's mother, as well as her brother João were tried and convicted for Joana's murder, all "the rest was lies being put about."

Gonçalo Amaral's lawyer, António Cabrita, goes further and after having considered that the document presented by Marcos Aragão had no relevance to the ongoing trial against the five inspectors, stated that he did not believe it was Léonor's work, but rather the work of someone else: "an obvious manipulation of the prisoner for other purposes," notably the sullying of Gonçalo Amaral's image.

Review of Léonor's conviction must await the end of Amaral's trial.

The request for review of Léonor and João Cipriano's convictions will await the final result of the trial of the five PJ inspectors, accused of having committed acts of torture during an interrogation, the day after Léonor's confession in the presence of her lawyer at the time.

In November 2005, the two siblings were sentenced, respectively, to 20 years and four months in prison and 19 years and two months. In May 2008, the Supreme Court of Justice reduced the sentences to 16 years and eight months in prison.

Antoine Brugerolle: mother caught out lying to the investigators.

Alexandrine Brugerolle with her son, Antoine.

Le Figaro 14/01/09

The noose tightens around the mother.

Alexandrine Brugerolle, who maintains that she cannot drive and could therefore not have transported her child who disappeared on September 11th 2008, lied to the investigators on this point.

The incident, however trivial, has strengthened the investigators and magistrates in their belief that the mother of little Antoine, reported missing since September 11th, is not telling them the whole truth. On January 8th, Alexandrine Brugerolle de Frayssinette was stopped at the wheel of a white Peugeot 106 on the A75 autoroute, driving in the Issoire-Clermont direction (Puy-de-Dôme). But, since the beginning of the investigation into her son's disappearance on September 11th last, the young woman has insisted that she doesn't know how to drive. "On several occasions, she has even used that argument to attempt to brush aside our suspicions in maintaining that, without a car, she couldn't have transported her child out of the town of Issoire," a source close to the investigation reveals.

Driving in a car registered in a departement of the Côte d'Azur, along with a man who was in an inebriated state in the passenger seat, Alexandrine Brugerolle was stopped for questioning at around 8.30pm by officers from the transport police who were amazed to see her vehicle zig-zagging on the autoroute. In spite of the evidence, the young woman told the officers she that she held a driving licence which she claimed to have left at home. Hearing nothing since then, the gendarmes have summoned her for immediate questioning about her false statements. Since the start of the investigation, the gendarmes have been astonished by the silence and other inconsistencies that riddle the account given by Alexandrine Brugerolle. A witness states having seen her driving a white Peugeot in the days preceding her child's disappearance? She rejects this as impossible since she doesn't know how to drive.

"Profile of the ideal guilty parties."

The investigators discovered in her bank statements that she bought large capacity bin bags twenty-four hours before reporting the unusual absence of her son? She simply explained to them that she had mistaken the size and took them back to the shop without delay - without the supermarket having apparently kept any trace of that exchange. Annoyed at having these details quoted in the press, Alexandrine Brugerolle has recently spoken out several times, considering that the investigation was focused exclusively on her. "Since the start, the prosecutor has been seeking to destroy my reputation because he has got it into his head that my partner and I, because of our criminal record and our alternative lifestyle, have the profile of the ideal guilty parties," she explained at the beginning of October.

Freeport: video proves payment of bribes to a minister.



The journalist Felicia Cabrita makes this revelation in the daily newspaper, "Sol," available tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

After having revealed that a Portuguese minister was amongst those suspected of corruption in the investigation into the Freeport case, obliging the office of the Attorney General of the Republic to intervene with a press release denying that information, the journalist Felicia Cabrita returns to the subject, confirming the existence of a video which proves the payment of bribes to a member of the former socialist government.

According to the journalist, a video recording of a conversation between an English administrator from Freeport's holding company and Charles Smith, one of the associates of the consulting company Smith & Pedro, alludes to payments of bribes to a Portuguese minister of António Guterres' government.

In statements to SMM, a British police source indicates that the report of the ongoing investigation in the United Kingdom contains a list of suspects - 15 as he and the daily newspaper Sol indicate - where the name of the current prime minister, José Socrates, figures.


The video containing the recorded conversation between Freeport's administrator and Charles Smith, confirms the payment of bribes to several Portuguese politicians, naming a minister in the socialist government of Antonio Guterres, the former prime minister, who is not, himself, implicated.

The investigation still ongoing in the UK could result, if justice follows its normal course, in a prosecution for crimes of corruption and tax evasion in the approval for the construction of the Freeport commercial complex in Alcochete, at the southern edge of Lisbon.

Lire aussi :

Dossiers Freeport et Maddie dans l’agenda des autorités portugaises et britanniques

Photos: top left; covers from SOL. Below, Gordon Brown and José Soctrates before their private meeting about the Madeleine McCann case.