Judite de Sousa [JS]: Here in the studio I have Gonçalo Amaral, the inspector of the Judiciary Police that has lead the investigations five years ago in situ to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Good evening, Gonçalo Amaral.
Gonçalo Amaral [GA]: Good evening.
JS: In your opinion what causes Scotland Yard to, suddenly, ask the Judiciary Police to re-open the process and to categorically state that there are 195 new opportunities to investigate?
GA: Well, we have to understand the timing, understand the moment... Yesterday was the 25 of April1 it's important because it's the day of freedom and democracy is celebrated in Portugal, and a foreign power, or someone from a foreign power is telling us: "It's like this, reopen it!". It's important. We are a few days away of the sad anniversary of the child's disappearance, a tragic moment... We are one year after that team started their investigation, where they've spent millions of pounds; they have been questioned back in England about that. To say that they have 195 opportunities of investigation - I have to ask, why is that? Why do they still have 195, why don't they have only 5?
JS: How do you explain that number? 195 avenues of investigation?
GA: They speak about sightings, about visions by mediums, in things that were produced, various things that have been produced over the years and well produced regarding those sightings, now the English police has to pass the ball to the Portuguese police and we are left with the onus and expenses of investigating. It is important to reopen the process, nobody should doubt that, but to reopen the process without limitations, the way they want to limit us.
JS: What are the limitations they want to impose on us?
GA: They want to impose an abduction. Actually they speak about two possibilities, that she could be alive or dead. And that is what it is.2
JS: No, Scotland Yard say that...
GA: No, Scotland Yard affirmed that the child could be alive or dead.
JS: ... she could be alive.
GA: Or could be dead. Don't forget the "could be dead". It's about 50% chances. And that is the real sadness. It's been five years and we still do not know what happened to this child and it is our fault. It's ours!
JS: Ours? Of whom?
GA: Of our Justice system, of our Attorney General who allowed this investigation to be shelved. In September 2007 we had reached certain conclusions, they were interim conclusions, and a criminal investigation needs to be concluded. It needs to be finished. The investigation was never allowed to arrive at an end. It was important to understand if the conclusions we had arrived at then could, in the end, be proved or disproved, be or not different - that is how a proper criminal investigation should proceed.
JS: Why, in your opinion, did the Portuguese General Attorney's Office decided to archive the process?
GA: Because we are Portuguese and they are English - as simple as that. We are small and they are big. This is what is happening right now.
JS: Then, do you defend the thesis that there were political pressures?
GA: There are no doubts about that. Just recently our current prime minister was in England, he held talks with David Cameron and spoke or was told (about this case)3. It would have been important for our prime-minister to speak first with those who were involved in the investigation in order to have a better understanding of what happened…
JS: But it becomes difficult for those that are viewing and listening to us, to comprehend for what reason the political power in London or a police with the prestige of Scotland Yard are so focused, committed on this case, five years later, particularly since the process has long been archived in Portugal. What do you think is the true motivation behind this review?
GA: Do you really believe that they are focused, committed? They speak about a 28-man squad, from the Scotland Yard... Allow me to inform you that it is just a metropolitan police of a city, of the city of London. Here in Portugal the investigation was done by the Judiciary Police, a much higher rank police, with jurisdictional competence for the whole country, which is not the case of the Metropolitan police. Let's be clear about this, we [Portuguese Judiciary Police] are what we are, but maybe we can be equally or even better than they are - that is the issue. Now, concerning those 284 police officers, they investigated (the case files)5 and arrived to the conclusion: "We have 195 hypothesis of". Well, the question is why do they still have 195? Why not just 5? Don't you see?
JS: So you think that they say 195, just as they could say 10, 15, 20, 200, 300?...read more
British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) welcomes the Prime Minister of Portugal Pedro Passos Coelho (R), to 10 Downing Street in London