Twisting the Knife, part two: goncalo amaral.
Well, it’s been a little over a year now since I wrote Twisting the Knife, and much has happened since then, so I think it time for a comprehensive update. But first, a quick reminder of whom we are talking about here.
The enemies of Madeleine McCann.
goncalo amaral, incompetent first chief in charge of the investigation into Madeleine’s abduction. Misogynistic, alcoholic, philanderer, bully.
anthony john stuart ‘tony’ bennett, disgraced ex-solicitor. Mountebank, narcissist, liar, coward.
We’ll talk a little more about bennett later, (Please note I refuse to use capital letters for their names, this infers a level of respectability that neither deserves.) but we’ll start with amaral, the man bennett holds up as a paragon of virtue, a policeman dedicated to his job, a man who, due to his skill and diligence, successfully brought to justice a child murderer by the name of Leonor Cipriano.
When I first wrote the page ‘Twisting the Knife,’ amaral was in the process of publishing a book, misleadingly entitled ‘The truth of the lie’ where he supposedly proves that Madeleine died in apartment 5A, and that Kate and Gerry somehow concealed the evidence, disposed of her body, and successfully engaged in the biggest cover up since Watergate. However, at this time he was also under investigation for allegedly covering up the torture of the aforementioned child murderer, Ms Cipriano. Leonor is currently serving sixteen years for murdering her daughter, Joana, after what many people, both here in Britain and in Portugal, perceive as a gross miscarriage of justice. I will not go into too much depth on the case here; there is a great deal of information on the case on the internet if you should wish to Google it, but this is a good start.
Suffice to say that apart from the fact that, assuming she really IS dead, so far poor little Joana’s body has never been found. The ONLY, repeat ONLY evidence produced at Leonor’s trial was her so-called confession, a confession which, under Portugal’s own laws, MUST be freely repeated in court. Leonor did not do this, she retracted it and claimed she was tortured into signing it, yet the judges, or two of the three at least, ignored this law, and found her guilty anyway. The third judge demanded to publicly go on record as saying he was certain Leonor was innocent.
It is this torture that amaral, at that time, was being investigated for.
tony bennett, as we know from part one, was so inspired by this man he set up the Madeleine foundation, in order to better persecute the McCann family, and went on to write his own book, ‘What really happened to Madeleine McCann? – 60 reasons that suggest she was not abducted.’ As I pointed out, it was full of unfounded allegations based on the most sloppy of research and pure speculation. Indeed, many people considered the entire contents to be libellous.
Together, these two men, and their small band of gullible, misguided and none to bright followers, set to with a vigour, determined to do anything and everything in their power to derail, sabotage and ultimately destroy the search for Madeleine, and prevent, at any cost, information that could lead to her safe return from reaching her parents. And all this, remember, despite the fact that the Portuguese chief prosecutor, in his final report on the case, clearly states that there is no evidence whatsoever to say the parents had anything to do with Madeleine’s disappearance, and that there wasn’t even enough evidence to determine if Madeleine was either dead or alive.
That was the state of play at this time last year.
But a lot has happened since then!
Let us return to amaral, and follow the events in his story to the present.
At first things went well for our Portuguese ex-cop. His book was published, was translated into several languages, and went on to sell somewhere in the region of 300,000 copies. A documentary-come-reconstruction, based on amaral’s version of events was made, and shown in Portugal and Spain. amaral gave many interviews, on TV and to the press, all for a generous fee, and a great deal of money was made, all on the back of his bungled, botched and incompetent investigation. Yes, for a while it seemed that amaral was riding on the crest of a wave, making a small fortune by pimping off a small, innocent missing child.
Then it all began to go horribly wrong! Late last year, rumours began to circulate that amaral’s wife, Sofia, had filed a complaint at their local police station, alleging that amaral, in one of his regular drunken stupors, had threatened to beat her up and kill her, and that also he had refused to hand over their daughter for the Christmas period, as arranged. Apparently all was not well with their marriage at this time, and they were living apart. She also alleged that he drove off with their daughter in a police car while still in this drunken state, thus placing his own child’s life at risk. At first the Mars Bars dismissed it all as a hoax. But then documentary proof suddenly appeared on the forums, in the form of the original letter of complaint, hand written by Sofia, together with an official police logbook entry, confirming receipt of this letter. (Copies of these documents can be found in the book, ‘The Madeleine Investigation: Incompetence or Corruption?’)
It seemed that amaral’s true character was beginning to be seen by a wider audience, and it was not a pretty sight.
The next blow came in May 2009, when the McCann’s finally decided that the damage being done to Madeleine’s search was now too great to ignore, and publicly announced their intention’s to sue him through the Portuguese courts for libel.
“The McCanns said they were taking action over Mr Amaral’s claims ‘that Madeleine is not only dead but that we, her parents, were somehow involved in concealing her body’.
They said it was ‘a disgraceful thesis that we are somehow involved in the disappearance of our much loved daughter Madeleine’.
They added: ‘We can no longer stand back and watch Mr Amaral try to convince the entire world that Madeleine is dead.’
They included their children as complainants in the action as ‘Sean and Amelie require protection as they prepare to start school this autumn. Madeleine requires protection from those who are obstructing the possibility of her being found”.
Then, in September, amaral’s trial came to its conclusion. Despite being widely predicted to win by the murkier side of the internet, (The judge in charge was apparently a close personal friend) he was, to their great astonishment, instead found guilty, and convicted of falsifying documents, concealment of evidence and perjury. He was then duly sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment, suspended. Both sides appealed, the prosecution on the grounds, correctly, that the sentence was too lenient, that a man in such a position of authority should have been made a better example of. Most significantly, however, the judge in charge of the case also concluded that Leonor HAD been telling the truth all along, and that it was clearly evident that she HAD INDEED been tortured, and her conviction was therefore in doubt. The appeals, including a fresh appeal for Leonor to face a re-trial, are due to be heard at the time of writing.
But September held a double-whammy for our disgraced ex-cop, because later that month a Portuguese court granted the McCann’s request for a gagging order, and issued an injunction forbidding him from selling any more copies of his book of lies, ordering all unsold copies to be destroyed, and handing over copyright of the book to the McCann’s and their lawyers. In addition the injunction also effectively prohibited amaral from giving any further interviews proclaiming that Madeleine was dead, or that Kate and Gerry knew this and covered it up. There then followed much wailing and gnashing of teeth, as the harpies and gorgons all complained about censorship, and curtailing the freedom of speech, conveniently ignoring the fact that to publicly accuse someone of committing a crime, without evidence, is not enshrined within any laws governing what constitutes such freedoms. This is backed up by this extract from Portugal’s own constitution, governing the rules of free speech.
The law shall lay down effective guarantees against the procurement and misuse of information concerning persons and families and its use contrary to human dignity.
Silence is golden!
So far, so bad, but things began to get worse. As well as the gagging order the courts also froze all amaral’s assets, in preparation for any payout the McCann’s were likely to win. His house, his car, his newly founded private business and his bank accounts, all were subject to this ruling. And it was then that we discovered amaral was, in fact, in debt. OK, so what, you may ask, many people are in debt these days, especially in lieu of the current credit crunch. But amaral was in debt to the tune of over HALF A MILLION Euros. Debts for mortgage arrears, debts for tax evasion. Seems that amaral thinks only ‘Little people’ pay taxes. And these debts go back to 2002, FIVE YEARS before poor little Madeleine was abducted, and well before any recession. It begs the question, why, after making so much money of her back, did he not make any attempt to pay these debts off? Ignorance or arrogance? He certainly cared little enough for these debts when he paid for a very expensive and elaborate 50th birthday party, at a local restaurant, with a huge and expensive fireworks display. Either way, a policeman in this country with such serious debts would be considered a liability in the light of the potential for corruption, bribery or blackmail.
But perhaps the biggest indictment to the man’s character is the most recent revelation, that of philanderer, thug and bully. You see, our fine, upstanding Portuguese citizen turns out to be the sort of hot blooded, macho Latin male who can’t keep his trousers zipped. During this past summer he embarked on an affair with a beautiful young married woman, Ana Sofia Bras, a mother to a two year old child. She admits she was, at first, beguiled by his smooth charm and easy manners, but it didn’t take her long to see through this man, to see what we now see, a nasty, misogynistic bullyboy. Realising her mistake, and poor judgment, she ended the relationship, but not before amaral’s wife, in a fit of jealousy, embarked on an affair of her own, with Ana’s husband, Jose Araujo.
Now amaral was unable to contain himself. He was furious that not only had his lover spurned him, but his own wife had turned against him, and taken a lover in revenge, behind his back. This slight could not stand unchallenged, so amaral then began a reign of terror on this unfortunate couple. Now, to be fair, it has to be said Ana and her husband are not exactly innocent in all this. They each embarked on a casual affair, and broke the sacred trust of marriage. But to their credit, once they realised what they had done they decided to forgive one another, and try to work together to repair their bond. But they reckoned without the vengeful wrath of amaral. There then followed a series of phone calls, leaving this poor couple so in fear of their lives that they felt compelled to write to the Attorney General of the Republic Dr. Pinto Monteiro, and ask for protection. They were advised to record the phone calls from amaral, to be used in evidence, and one such call can be found here.
I will forgo the translation, as it contains a great deal of sexually explicit material that would be out of place on this blog. But outside the sexual references, there were explicit threats made, to the effect of he could have them hurt, or killed, without getting his hands dirty. He could have drugs planted on them, and get them sent to jail. (amaral used to work in the drug squad.) but the most chilling threat was made against their own, two year old, daughter. He actually threatened to make her ‘disappear’ leaving it to look like this couple were responsible.
That, my friends, given the man’s involvement with two previous cases of child abduction, scares me to the core. Some role model, eh bennett?
I now invite you to turn to ‘Twisting the Knife, page three’ for an update on our friend bennett’s activities.
Latest update, 28th Dec, 2009.
I can think of no better way to highlight amaral’s appalling actions the night Madeleine was abducted than to reproduce this article below, showing in vivid contrast the stark diferences between the incompetent amaral and a truly professional and dedicated police force. By the grace of God, five year old Natalie Flores was rescued seven hours after being abducted, due to the dedication to duty of one of a number of hard working and diligent police, who would go the extra mile, and more, in order to save a childs life.
Phoenix Cops Hit The Ground Running When A Child Went Missing, Amaral Couldn’t Drag Himself Away From His Drinking Buddies When A Child Went Missing
As soon as it became obvious that Natalie had been snatched an Amber Alert went out throughout the States of America and Phoenix Law Enforcement Hit The Ground Running And Never Gave Up Looking.
The Chief of Police turned in to make sure everything possible that could be done; was being done to find the child.
However, his presence was unnecessary, his foot soldiers knew the drill and were already marching to the same beat.
They knew the golden hours of finding the child unharmed would pass quickly and there wasn’t a moment to waste.
Seven hours later, an officer spotted a vehicle and driver that resembled the description of the suspect and even though the license plate differed from reports he wasn’t taking any chances and gave chase. The little girl Natalie was recovered alive and well.
Stark Contrast to May 2007 when a little British girl went missing in Portugal isn’t it.
The Police Chief couldn’t drag himself away from the bar and his buddies…..the National guard went home after 4 hours….the border was left wide to all as was the harbor and the only sense of urgency came from the parents and their friends.
In actual fact, no serious action was taken by law enforcement until later that morning; by then, it was in my opinion way too late to achieve a good result for the child.
I have read where Senor Amaral has said it isn’t an officers obligation to achieve results….only to try his best. In my country our Law Enforcement’s Motto is ‘To Protect And Serve’.
When it comes to a missing child, they go above and beyond the call of duty, knowing they could be that child’s only hope of survival and they, never give up.
No, our boys are not the golden boys in many things but, when it comes to children suffering or missing, they are the best on the earth. Why, because many of them have children of their own and they know how they would feel if one of their little ones went missing.
Pity Senor Amaral didn’t think if, even just for a moment, more of the child and less for his drink.
Who knows, I might not be sitting here writing this and the little girl Madeleine would be just a distant memory of a child who was lost but found.
Latest update: 25th Feb, 2010.
The case of Hugo, and further proof of the incompetence and corruption of goncalo amaral.
I am endebted to http://justice4mccannfam.blogspot.com for posting this some time ago. I have been meaning to reproduce it here, but whenever I remembered, I didn’t have the time, and when I had the time I forgot! But now I will reproduce the article in it’s entirety for your perusal. Remember, above all, this is a man that bennett holds in the highest esteme, describing him as a ‘Brilliant detective.’ The following is reproduced exactly as it appears, and I credit Rosiepops for her work on this case.
Hugo is a young man living in Olivais, Lisboa. In October/2005 he received a letter from an Ayamonte court, it was directly addressed to him and did not come through the police or another court! It was accusing him of an attempted homicide back in August/2003. He went to a PSP (Public Safety Police) precinct in Lisbon, where he was sent to the PJ (policia judiciaria), and having got there, they told him to go back home and not to worry about the case. One year later, because he did not attend the court in Spain, he got the visit of PJ inspectors with an arrest warrant. He was so scared, he attempted suicide while in custody/prison that night. The next morning he was presented to a judge who confirmed that he was accused of being co-author of an attempted homicide along with two other people, one of them a former colleague that although lived in the same neighbourhood he had not seen since he left school, this person had already presented himself to the police already implicating himself in the crime. Hugo proclaimed innocence immediately and was able to present a staggering 15 witnesses, as he had been in Mondim de Basto, (his wife’s place of birth) at the time of the homicide and said he never had set foot in Spain.
He and his wife were unemployed and had two little children and were very poor and totally unable to defend himself.
Dr Barra da Costa Martins former Chief Inspector of the PJ now University Professor of Criminology and Criminal Psychology heard about the case and found a lawyer for Hugo, working pro bono (Free). The Portuguese court did not care to clarify if there was a case of mistaken identity, they didn’t even bother to interrogate the other arguido. The same happened with the Supreme Court, on appeal. Basically, the case came back to the Relation (first instance) Court who refused to hear expert witnesses opinions and forensic exams on some photo of grainy video “evidence” that the PJ presented. The court concluded it was it was Hugo by just looking at the video with the ‘naked eye’. Hugo’s defense lawyer Almado wanted to bring expert witnesses, who could give their expert opinions on facial recognition.
While this case was being investigated by the PJ, the PJ coordinator was one Goncalo Amaral (again) it was up to him to make the diligences and have the video examined to see if this person was Hugo, Goncalo Amaral FAILED to do this and just presented this sloppy “evidence” to the court and the court just accepted it. The “co-author” completely denied Hugo’s involvement in the attempted murder and under cross-examination in court he said he named Hugo because he was being *PRESSED* to do so, by the investigating officer *Goncalo Amaral*. A New appeal was heard in Portugal with the same result, a European mandate was issued and Hugo arrested at his home. December 2007, in court in Ayamonte, the victim of the attempted homicide did not recognise Hugo at all, yet Hugo was extradited to Spain to stand trial for attempted murder.
Hugo had 15 witnesses that put him in another place entirely.
Hugo did NOT resemble he person on a very grainy video footage which was presented in court by Goncalo Amaral as proof of Hugo’s involvement.
Goncalo Amaral refused to get facial recognition expert to examine the footage of the video.
Goncalo Amaral refused to allow the forensic examination of the video.
Goncalo Amaral refused to believe 15 eye witnesses that placed Hugo in his wife’s birth place at the time of the crime.
Goncalo Amaral *PRESSED* (or tortured?) the alleged co-author of Hugo into identifying his accomplice as Hugo.
His alleged “co-author” later testified in court under oath that he had been pressed into giving this statement.
The victim of the crime did NOT recognise or identify Hugo as being his assailant.
Fortunately the story finally ended for Hugo in a court in Huelva, Spain, the defendant was acquitted and cleared of all suspicion, when the Spanish court kicked it out.
It appears that the court in Spain wanted the video footage of Hugo to have it forensically examined and for facial recognition experts to examine it, but the Portuguese coordinator one Goncalo Amaral FAILED to send the video in time and many suspected him of “concealing evidence” that could have cleared Hugo in a Portuguese court, but it has to be said that the Portuguese courts were lax in their duty to their citizen too. Goncalo Amaral has since been convicted of concealing evidence of torture in the case of Leonor Cipriano, he received an 18 month suspended prison sentence.
“As Dr Barra da Costa puts it, ‘In Portugal, there are far too many Hugos and Joanas. In Portugal there has been a long time since we last had a Gordon Brown, honour to him, capable of publicly risking his capital as statesman, that of the party and of Her Majesty in favour of his own nationals’.”
Hugo was wrongly charged and it has been alleged that Hugo was deliberately falsely charged in order to protect “drug traffickers”! Hugo and his family suffered tremendously as a direct result of Goncalo Amaral and his “shoddy and dubious” police work. Of course Goncalo Amaral was at that time in charge of the drug squad!
The result is that if the Portuguese court had the photographic expert findings along with the co-defendant stating again that Hugo had nothing to do with this, and the victims themselves had also not recognised Hugo.
How many times is Goncalo Amaral going to be allowed to get away with this kind of thing?