Talking with Pinto da Costa – Forensic Medicine Expert
In the book ‘The Truth of The Lie’ Gonçalo Amaral, the PJ coordinator who was removed from the ‘Maddie Case’ has no doubts about the death of the girl. Pinto da Costa follows his considerations.
Specialist in Forensic Medicine, Pinto da Costa supports the thesis followed by Gonçalo Amaral, which points to the death of Madeleine McCann. The professor does not understand the reason why the analyses done by the British laboratory are not conclusive and he manifests the conviction that, soon or later, the truth will be known. The biggest problem, according to the President of the Portuguese Section of International Transparency [sic], resided in the incorrect way the investigation was carried out. Pinto da Costa understands that the death hypothesis should have been pursued since the beginning.
Do you believe in the thesis defended by Gonçalo Amaral, according to which Madeleine McCann died accidentally in the night of her disappearance?
It does seem possible that that has taken place based on the circumstances of the cadaver dogs who signalled [death triggers] the existence of a cadaver and, also of blood with the genetic profile of the girl.
The English Laboratory said the analyses are not conclusive...
What the Laboratory concluded was that, in a total of 19 alleles [genetic markers], 15 are present in the sample examined. In Portugal, in order to guarantee the authenticity of progeny [descendants, children], that is, in the paternity tests we use 15 alleles. Therefore, the results obtained by the British Laboratory are extremely significant. Thus, they seem, pertinent in the consideration that the child could have died in the apartment. Another hypothesis is that she could have died outside and then the body was moved inside [the apartment].
Isn’t there, in Portugal, technical capacity to do this kind of analyses?
Yes, they could have been done in Portugal. I believe that either the Scientific Police Laboratory of the Judiciary Police or the various Forensic Medicine Institutes have the conditions to perform them. That did not happen possibly for the reason that the persons at issue were of English nationality.
The explanation given by Gonçalo Amaral, that the corpse was frozen or preserved in cold, for more than 20 days, also seems plausible?
What I believe is that the body was not totally decomposed. There are situations when the cadaver is preserved more or less without adding any substance, like ice, for example. Besides, we should not forget that this is the body of a child and not of an adult, who decays more rapidly.
Do you believe the Truth will be discovered?
Yes, when all entities involved are at a distance. The midwives fight, the truths are discovered. [Portuguese Proverb: "Zangam-se as comadres, sabem-se as verdades."]. The process has so many contradictions that, it is impossible to have one truth.
And what exactly is at the origin of so many contradictions?
The fact that the investigation started incorrectly. It should have started with the exaggeration of the positive and with the assumption that the child was killed. Even because the existence of maltreatment is a reality and in these cases, the number one suspect is the father, not the stepfather, the uncle or any other person. At another side, the scene should have been put immediately in custody to avoid its violation, because the examination of the scene is fundamental. The parents presented the abduction hypothesis, but those who do a criminal investigation have to have their ‘heads cold’ [‘cuca fria’- meaning open and objective mind], as they say in Brazil, and cannot deviate from the essential. The investigation was done in reverse.
Source: Jornal de Notícias, paper edition - 26 July 2008
Note: Professor Pinto da Costa was the Director of the Portuguese Forensic Institute [INML] for several years.
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