Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

09 - SEP 07 - Macedo/v. Susteren (Foxnews)

Les droits des parents MC dans la loi portugaise
Greta v. Susteren (FoxNews) interroge Tiago Macedo - 07.09.2007

GVS : But first, a jolting new development in the search for Madeleine McCann.

The 4-year-old toddler has been missing for more than four months. According to a family friend, Portuguese police have zeroed in on someone, Madeleine's mother. She is now a suspect. But that's not all. The sources also say Madeleine's father will soon be named a suspect, as well. Did anyone see this new wrinkle coming?

Our panel is with us for the entire hour. In Los Angeles, former assistant DA Jim Hammer and attorney Gloria Allred. In New York, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, and here in Washington, defense attorneys Ted Williams and Bernie Grimm.

But first, criminal and labor attorney Tiago Macedo joins us in Portugal to explain what the Portuguese term for suspect, "arguido," means. Welcome, sir. And what does "arguido" mean under your law, sir?

TM : Hi. Good afternoon. Here in Portugal, the name "arguido" doesn't mean that somebody is guilty for something. It's a position that is given by the state to a person that the state itself and criminal police found some evidence that could relate them as maybe being involved on the crime.
GVS : Now, what we are hearing, sir, in the United States is that Sky News, which is a sister network to us, is reporting that the mother of the child, Kate, has been offered a deal -- no more than two years in prison if she, quote, "confessed to accidental death of her daughter." Would you expect, under your law, at this sort of state of the affairs, that even though she's an arguido and not a charged person, that a deal would be offered to her? TM : No. By the Portuguese system, that offer can't be made by the Portuguese legal authorities. GVS : So we shouldn't read anything into this necessarily? This is still just the early stages? TM : Yes. Definitely. What has happened is they were victims, or probably witnesses. And from some evidence that they found on the case, they've transformed them from witnesses (in fact victims) in being arguidos. That means somebody who has not been legally charged, but also has some defense prerogatives. For instance, the arguido can be silent and not answer the questions made by the police. And the witnesses can't. In Portugal, they've got to tell everything they know because if they don't tell, they will go to prison for it. GVS : All right. Are both parents free to leave Portugal tonight, if they want to? TM : Up to this moment, I haven't seen the case itself, but probably they will -- they will be under some measures. I haven't read the case itself, but they might put some measures on them. It means that they might be able to leave the country, but they've got to tell the Portuguese authorities (where they go and if they move). GVS : All right. In the event that they move on to the next step -- let's say the mother becomes a more formal suspect, as we might think here in the United States -- is there a timeframe when we would expect that someone would be formally charged, if police believe that this is truly the person who has done something? TM : Well, that will depend on the police investigation. When they make somebody an arguido from being a witness, normally, they already have quite a strong -- let's call it a strong case. But then they've got to go through the investigation to confirm. This investigation has been going on for quite a few months. So we can expect to wait for a few months to built the legal charge on them, if, if, if, they find them (charges). GVS : Yes, if, indeed. Tiago, thank you very much for joining us.