Lisbonne - 13 janvier 2010
Gerald MC : Obviously, as you all know, to… the trial over the last, errr... two days and continuing tomorrow is really about Mr Amaral's book and DVD and how we feel that relates to the ongoing search for Madeleine. I'd like to remind everyone that it's the book that is on trial and not Kate and I.
Right from Day One, after Madeleine was taken, Kate and I fully understood the need for us to be investigated and we consider that a matter of course and you may remember that we spent all day on the 4th of May at the police station in Portimão and I subsequently spent a lot of time there. We stayed in Portugal during this period, right through to September, in an effort to aid the investigation. We also understood that every thesis had to be considered and we felt strongly that we had been eliminated from the investigation. (1)
For those of you who have followed this case, when things, errr... turned sour for us in August, of 2007, we didn't disappear, we stayed. We waited until we had our arguido interviews, even though that we did wish to return home, because we felt that was the right thing to do. (2) We did wish for a reconstruction to be done, very early on, as would be the norm, errr... and certainly within the United Kingdom and we were prepared to come back to participate in the reconstruction, in fact we would have been obliged as arguidos to come back and participate and it wasn't our decision not to do it, although, I have to say, I don't think it would have helped very much in the search for Madeleine. (3)
Over the last two days, I think you've heard a lot about Mr Amaral's thesis that Madeleine is dead and I hope you've also heard that there is absolutely no evidence to support that thesis. A thesis without evidence is meaningless and that is what we are challenging. We strongly believe and, in fact, as a direct result of the searches - which were actually directed at finding a missing body in and around Praia da Luz and the surrounding terrain - the fact that this thesis, which has been tried to be proved quite firmly, has not found any harm to Madeleine is actually, in many ways, reassuring and gives us more evidence that Madeleine is probably alive. (4)
And I hope everyone remembers that there is a little girl missing, who still needs to be found, and we will keep going until Madeleine is found and also until whoever has taken her is brought to justice and, in response to the question earlier on, that is why we carry on, and we have other children who miss Madeleine dearly and we will be able to look them in the eye and say that we have done everything to help that search.
UK Reporter : How emotionally...
GMC : I have to return to England today, I have work commitments that I couldn't cancel at short notice. I will be leaving, Kate'll be staying on and, errm... I'll take a few questions.
UKR : Gerry, how... how emotionally draining has the last few days been? Do you feel that it has actually given maybe the Portuguese police and even, errr... the media an opportunity to re... errr... to... well, to bring some old theories back to, errr... back to the surface?"
GMC : I think what's been important is that things are being debated in a rational way in a court of law and that is the place where it should happen and that is where evidence is judged and can be done so within a legal framework. From our point of view what's happened in the last two days is, I suppose, in many ways, expected - these are Gonçalo Amaral's witnesses. I think it is particularly disappointing that certain police officers within Portimão, who considered us as possibly involved in Madeleine's disappearance, have not been able to change their mind, despite a lack of evidence, and it is these officers who have, are... who we are dependent on for pursuing the investigation within Portugal. (5)
Pivot: Gerry McCann repudiated the PJ Inspectors who stated in court that their daughter Madeleine is dead. The father of the child disappeared in the Algarve, accuses therefore the Inspector Ricardo Paiva of lying, when he said that his wife Kate called him, in the summer of 2007, telling that she had a dream where her daughter was dead and buried at hill in Praia da Luz. The PJ inspector said that this dream was decisive to change the course of investigations.
Voice over (Sandra Felgueiras): After yesterdays absolute silence, Gerry and Kate arrived at the civil court at 9:30 am, ready to blow off steam.
SF: How did you support hearing the inspectors repeating that Madeleine is dead and that you are involved?
Gerry McCann: The most important thing yesterday was what the prosecutor said, there's absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead.
Voice Over: At the same moment Gonçalo Amaral made a completely different assessment of the statements given yesterday by the former investigation colleagues. And even by the actual Nº2 of the PJ.
Gonçalo Amaral: Since yesterday I'm not the only one speaking, I can't say anything further since I'm in a injunction, so, about certain facts it's not only me talking. I'm not alone regarding that.
SF: Moita Flores ended up proving or corroborating, in the morning, that Madeleine couldn't have been abducted without any traces. During two hours, via video-conference, the former PJ inspector and actual Mayor of Santarém, praised the work done by the investigators of Madeleine's case, the same ones that Gerry McCann didn't spare criticism on his way out of the court, to go to London.
GM: It's particularly disappointing that certain police officers, withing Portimão, who considered us as possibly being involved in Madeleine's disappearence, have not been able to change their mind, inspite the lack of evidences. And it is this officers we are depending on for pursuing the investigation within Portugal.
GM: I would like to make absolutely clear that Kate has never had a dream, that Madeleine was buried somewhere. And, I don't know if something has been lost in interpretation, but that didn't happen.
Voice Over: Gerry declared untrue in this manner the sworn statement given yesterday by the inspector Ricardo Paiva, who, to the court explained that Kate's dream, that was told to him on the phone, two months later after the disappearance was crucial for the PJ to start investigating the hypothesis of the child being dead.
GM: We are not under trial, not at all. people may want to say that, but we were exonerated.[cut] The PJ tried... What was seen very clearly is that one thesis in particular tried to be proven, possibly more than any other.
SF: Do you think they were competent?
GM: (looks above SF) And there's no evidence to support it.
SF: Where they competent to you?
GM: (looks the other way) Sorry...
Sandra Felgueiras: He never criticized openly the Judiciary police but he implicitly made known what he thinks. Gerry McCann left this court at 4:30 pm, behind leaves Kate, who will be joined still today by Fiona Payne, one of the friends of the couple that was with them at the time of Madeleine's disappearence. The hearing will continue and end tomorrow.
Voice Over (unknown journalist): They arrived before 10am and decided to talk to journalists.
Gerry McCann: The same, to continue to fight for Madeleine, the search and to protect her family.
Sandra Felgueiras: How did you support hearing the inspectors repeating that Madeleine is dead and that you are involved?
Gerry McCann: The most important thing yesterday was what the prosecutor said, there's absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead.
SF: But then you heard...
GM: Let me finish, please. There's absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead, and there's absolutely no evidence that were involved in her disappearence. That is the conclusion...
SF: Three people saying...
GM: That is the conclusion of the process, and that's what we're here debating.
Voice over: In the first session, that lasted more than 9 hours, Gonçalo Amaral's witnesses defended that the book 'Maddie, A Verdade da Mentira' only exposes facts that pertain to the process. All of them sustained the thesis that the British child is dead and that the parents hid the cadaver. The hearing continues with Moita Flores statement, via video-conference, he is the last witness requested by Gonçalo Amaral to be heard. The former PJ inspector says that he is not alone and believes that the book will be back on the bookshops.
Gonçalo Amaral: If I didn't believe it, then I wouldn't believe in this Country's Justice, I wouldn't have started the opposition, so, we have to trust.
Sandra Felgueiras: How have you faced the McCann couple?
GA: How? In a natural way.
SF: I want to ask you if you were satisfied for having heard the inspectors that repeated the thesis that you shared on the book?
Gonçalo Amaral: Since yesterday, I'm not the only one speaking, I can't say anything further since I'm in a injunction, so, about certain facts it's not only me talking. I'm not alone regarding that.
Voice over: The McCanns allege that the book 'A Verdade da Mentira' and the documentary broadcast by TVI divulge a thesis which they consider unsustainable, and that is hampering the search of the child. The provisional measure was decreed in September, the Court will decide if the book will ever be commercialized again.
Sandra Felgueiras - RTP1 - 13.01.2010
traduit par Astro
And concerning this conflicting duality, Moita Flores was peremptory: he thinks it is "pathetic" and "an aberration" that in a democracy, someone's right to write a truth that he says he has reached, is put at stake. And even when judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues asked him if he thinks it's legitimate for an inspector, after retiring, and after having privileged access to information, to write, to publicise it, he [Moita Flores] said "I don't see why that can't happen, even because nobody else in Portugal has been dragged through the mud by the British press, like Gonçalo Amaral was, therefore he is in his full right”.
He even said "I don't know what I would do if I was in his shoes; if anyone had told me or written that my wife is a prostitute and I, a drunk. I know that Gonçalo Amaral is a good policeman, and that is why I came here to testify". Such were the words of Moita Flores.
Then, why do I mention a treaty on criminal investigation? Because for several times, Isabel Duarte has tried to discredit the book, and therefore, at the same time, the criminal investigation, and she tried to tell Moita Flores, or rather ask him, if he knew the location, the window through which the abduction could have taken place in Praia da Luz. He replied, in his own voice, that he was on location, and that he was absolutely certain that it was materially impossible for an abductor to leave through that window – unless the child was dead.
This is due to there being no possibility for anyone to exit through that window without leaving natural traces, which is to say, without leaving marks, and that is the line that investigators follow. Therefore, in this way, he tried to credit, contradicting the McCanns' thesis that the only possibility was abduction. And he even said that he does not believe that any competent investigator in the world easily accepts that anyone tries to impose a sole thesis on him. And the McCanns came here to try to impose one sole thesis on Portuguese justice, the thesis that they believe in, the abduction thesis. And he says that Gonçalo Amaral could not resign himself to this possibility.
Finally, a thesis about truth. A thesis about truth because Moita Flores came to this court to say that the absolute truth belongs only to God. The truth that belongs to men is a dynamic truth, a truth that is gradually obtained. This because when he was questioned several times about the legitimacy of discussing a thesis that the Public Prosecutor did not reach, he even said: "The Public Ministry had an opinion. That does not mean that there could not be another one". And Isabel Duarte told him, at the end: "But there are people here who have been absolutely murdered on the public square". And Moita Flores finalised by saying: "So was Gonçalo Amaral".
As a conclusion, I would say that it was a demolishing testimony in front of judge Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues, who by the way is the daughter of former Attorney General Cunha Rodrigues; it will be up to her to decide whether or not to keep this injunction in place, which removed the book "Truth of the Lie" from the market last September.
In this way, Moita Flores joins the choir of former inspectors, and even the joint national director, Luís Neves, who came here yesterday to state again that all of them, together, and including the Public Ministry, shared the thesis that Madeleine was dead, and that the McCann couple was involved in concealment of the cadaver.
They all said, in one voice, that Gonçalo Amaral's book focuses on everything that is included in the investigation, and that they do not see, in any way, that the contents of the book may be influencing public opinion in the sense of disturbing the search for Madeleine and putting her survival at stake. These are the two main issues that the injunction is based upon, and it was due to these two allegations from the McCann couple's defence that the judge who previously judged the injunction decided to take the book off the market.
In the afternoon, we will hear José Manuel Anes, currently the vice president of the Security Laboratory, he is a witness that was summoned by editor Guerra & Paz, the editor that published the book "Truth of the Lie".
Interview de Clarence Mitchell
MSBC - 24.01.2010
Transcrit par Nigel Moore
Jenna Wolfe: And joining us now is Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. Clarence, good morning, thanks for being with us today.
Clarence Mitchell: Good morning, Jenna, good to be with you.
JW: So, as we mentioned, this does mark... this week will mark the 1,000 date anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance. Can you tell us how her parents are holding up?
CM: Kate and Gerry have good and bad days, as you would well expect given that their daughter is still not home, as you say, nearly a thousand days on. They draw greatest strength from when they sense there is momentum in the search, and in the wider campaign to keep awareness of Madeleine high in the public eye, and so, on Wednesday, to mark a thousand days exactly they're going to be holding a fund raising event in London and they'll be surrounded by their long term friends and supporters, so they will draw great strength from that. But it is very difficult and they do find any, errr... anniversary or occasion like this to be very difficult.
JW: We understand that Gerry and Kate have also hired their own, errr... private investigator. Can you tell us a little bit about how that investigation is going? Has it led to any leads?
CM: There are lots of leads, whether they're the significant one that will lead to Madeleine is the question, and no... have we found her yet? No we haven't. Errr... It's a very small team currently looking into Madeleine's disappearance, led by some former British detectives now acting as private investigators. They're doing a very thorough job of going back over all the evidence, all the Portuguese police files that were finally released after a lot of pressure from... from this end and, errr... they feel that there is useful information still out there to be had; we still need people to come forward. If people go to the findmadeleine.com website all of the contact emails and phone numbers for anyone who thinks they may have seen her, or has any information about her, should... should look at that website. That information will go straight to our investigators and they are following it up on a daily basis. They go back to Portugal, from time to time; they were back there recently. The work is very much ongoing, although Madeleine isn't quite in the headlines as much as she was, the search is very much continuing and there are hundreds of calls that are still being checked out.
JW: Well, I understand that Gerry and... and Kate are attempting to block the sale... one of the new pieces of information out... are intending to block the sale of a book released by a Portuguese policeman who says that Madeleine, errr... is dead and that the parents, errr.... her parents are suspects. Can you tell us where we are in that civil case, right now? As if they need something else to continue to worry about.
CM: Well, absolutely, that's the last thing they need. This is a book written by a former police officer who was removed from the case after he criticised British police, errr... in the inquiry, errr... some two years ago. Errr... He's written a book in which he makes those allegations, as you say, he claims that he believes Madeleine is dead and that Kate and Gerry know what happened. It is totally untrue. Nor has he any evidence to make those wild, libellous allegations and that's why Kate and Gerry have gained an injunction to stop his book from being published anymore. He currently is appealing against that and we're expecting a ruling from a judge in February... mid February. Kate and Gerry obviously remain very hopeful that the judge will do the right thing and ban the book completely. We don't like to take that sort of legal action but the allegations this man is making will make people believe that Madeleine is dead and therefore they won't look for her and that will damage the search.
JW: Alright, Clarence Mitchell, we thank you so much for your time. Our thoughts continue to be with the McCanns in their search. Thank you.