Friday, June 17, 2011

Paulo Sargento: Why he makes the McCanns so mad!

Maddie and Joana Again? Amongst the Bad Parenthood, the Hazelnuts Liars and the alleged Dog’s Injustice

The second half of January was, as I expected, very interesting.

The Maddie case came back in full force! The Joana case was interrupted by a rocambolesque and, I believe, unprecedented legal event. The Metódo3 showed its teeth. And the Freeport distracted us.

by Dr.Paulo Sargento

The last time I wrote, I recall that Dr Gerry McCann had returned to Portugal for the first time since September 2007, allegedly for, together with one of his attorneys, the illustrious Mr. Rogério Alves, have a reunion with His Excellency the British Ambassador in Lisbon [Alexander Ellis], to know what could still be done to find Madeleine.

The trip indeed happened! Mr. Rogério Alves was, as everyone could see, with Dr Gerry McCann, and to what is known, they met with the Ambassador.

Well, it happened! So why to repeat myself?

As I had previously said and now I reaffirm it: the argument used by Dr Gerry McCann is illogical. By his own words, he assumed he had not still read the whole process (which includes ALL the diligences made), because the process had not yet been fully translated. I repeat the question that intrigues me: How can you want to know what you can still do about anything when it is not known, entirely, all that was done? It makes no sense whatsoever! I reiterate that this escapes any logic.

Now then, what was the purpose of Dr Gerry McCann’s visit? Without anyone asking, it was guaranteed that he did not come to meet with anyone from the government or anyone connected to the government. But, what government? The current one? Well, here is something that can not escape the logic. Nor, contrary to the previous statement, we can affirm (without a pejorative assessment of the awareness of the statement) that it is a lie.

It even makes sense that Dr Gerry McCann has not come to meet with people connected to the ACTUAL government (and I swear that I am not using rhetorical imagery to induce the reading into the Freeport case). However, nothing was said, and in truth, nothing was asked regarding meetings with elements of previous governments or related to them.

Right! Nice trick! In some corridors, with hushed loudness, it has been made possible to pin point someone to the fourth chair of the said meeting: the first name, truly Lusitanian and the surname, clearly Welsh! And I stop right here.

Do you know why?

Because, from this time on, not even Mendes Bota was able to save the honour of the monastery: the Man who, according with all the polls, would guaranteedly win a City Council was rejected by the Directorate of the Party of which he is an active militant, allegedly for not corresponding to the appropriate profile for that Town Hall (well, at least, from the mouth of the censors, pardon, of the decision makers, did not came a even more ludicrous story, the lack of political experience). Of course I am talking about Gonçalo Amaral.

Besides of cowardly, of shameful and, obviously, manipulated, this act of refusing Gonçalo Amaral candidacy, is the most naive expectation of a ‘currency exchange’ that I have seen in Portuguese politics (besides I only have 43 years old and there are political alliances that are secular).

Meanwhile, in the Joana case, after the confession, pre-announced by the Illustrious lawyer of Madam Leonor Cipriano (I recall the interview with Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia, in the weekly "The Crime" of December 4, 2008), our courts performed one of the strangest scenes unprecedented in the Portuguese memory: the expulsion of a lawyer from the Court chambers for being suspended by the Bar Association, allegedly because of the failure to communicate his change of address.

This event made a flow, desirably for some, of more ink lines in multiple newspapers. Relatively to this, we yet have to understand what really happened, However, the confession of Leonor Cipriano, that Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia referred to have be written by is own hand, but dictated by the lady is, as I had a chance to say, another point in detriment of Leonor Cipriano herself: it’s another one among nearly a dozen versions, all different.

What can we conclude here? Two things. The first is that Leonor has lost more of her, already diminutive and very doubtful, credibility of testimony. Secondly, calculating the highest common denominator of the various versions, we find a high consistency of one element in the different versions: Joana, who unfortunately, died, or rather was killed, as most of the forensic evidence indicates.

The letter, in addition to have been written by Mr. Marcos Aragão Correia, was not dictated by a person born in the Algarve area, with a very low level of education. Somehow the statement denotes a kind of legal concern, to the level of its content (namely, the legal possibility of the adoption as it is referred and the insistency on details that could, potentially, constitute evidence for the accusation - pants with blood). But as I reiterate, the excessive use of the gerund [verbal noun] and the reversal of possessives and demonstratives add up to an aspect of linguistic expression more usual in Madeira, or with some effort, in some parts of the Alentejo. Who dictated the letter? A person from Madeira? Or, being in Odemira, a person from Alentejo?

Still in the Joana case, following the aforementioned "confession" a new search was encouraged to the place where, allegedly, the body of Joana was buried. But, after several searches, conducted by the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano and family (which family?) it was assumed the impossibility to continue this task due to the deficiency of cinotechnical means [K9 units]. Indeed, this argument deserves some reflection.

Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia says, like many others, that in Portugal there are no dogs trained to detect the cadaverine scent. Nevertheless, some people said the opposite, some time ago. It is, therefore, a debatable issue. But, then, why was a search and rescue dog taken? Here, for sure the theory that those who “don’t have dogs hunts with a cat” is unfounded. So, I repeat, why would there be a need for an ERVD dog that detects the scent of cadavers?

Although I accept that I am completely uninformed regarding the major aspects of the qualities of those animals, I must, however, present some speculative arguments that have emerged in the consequence of the proclaimed affirmation made by Dr. Aragão Correia: “In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to search for evidences against the parents. Why they don't do it now to find Joana's body?”

Let’s try to reflect upon it.

I would not be surprised and even would agree, absolutely, with Dr. Aragão Correia if the argument of Equalitarian Justice that he pretended to use wasn’t betrayed by its content. Let us see what I want to say, illustrating how I think that the argument should be exposed:

a) “In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to search for evidences against the parents. Why they don’t do it now to try to get evidences against the mother and uncle of Joana?”, or alternatively,

b) “In the Maddie case a dog was brought from England to try to locate her body. Why they don't do it now to find Joana's body?”

Indeed, if the issues were raised in this way, I would be in complete agreement with the thesis of Dr. Aragão Correia.

Still, we would have, in my modest and, again I repeat, little sustained opinion, a methodological problem: in the case of Maddie, we had precise locations and objects which allowed to draw a methodology that is virtually beyond reproach as to the results observed (the dogs visited several apartments, several cars, smelled different pieces of clothing, BUT, I repeat, BUT there were control and “placebo” devices, if I am allowed to exploit these terms, so it is easier to understand).

In the Joana case, in addition to the search area being much larger and that there are no types of markers, the search should, in my opinion, begin with archaeologists and geologists who would attempt to define areas where signs of intervention not due to natural phenomena existed (ex. erosion of wind or rain in the modification of topographical accidents) and from then on proceed to search with other methods.

I admit that is much more difficult to detect the smell of dead bodies after almost 4 years, than after 2 months. I also admit that it would be much more difficult the discrimination of odours in outdoor areas than inside houses or in clothes dressed recently. I should, therefore conclude the arrival of the friendly and competent dogs (who have 200 positive identifications), in these conditions could constitute a failure.

Actually, allow me one more metaphor: the conditions described for the “monte das figueras”[figs hill] (which, in itself, involves a number of variables, of difficult, or even, virtual impossible control) and after almost 4 years are have gone by since the tragic death of a girl, the probability of the dogs (even though they are competent) to find the corpse of Joana is, certainly lower the likelihood that someone would have to win the Euromillions in 3 consecutive weeks, betting on the same combination key numbers.

However, to whom would help the failure of these dogs?

More to follow - it's a long and a bit 'hermetic' text to translate in one go, please be patient.

Courtesy of Dr. Paulo Sargento

By Joana Morais

Paulo Sargento may be stunned to discover cadaver dogs are now tracing a cold case from 50 years ago. Ramona Irene Price, would it not be wonderful if they bring in the dogs and try to trace the remains of is never to late.