Gonçalo Amaral: The interrogations of the McCanns and the nervousness of the British police

The interrogations of the McCann and the nervousness of the British police

Stuart’s presence, as the timing for the interrogations to the McCann as arguidos became closer, increased constantly, he appeared anxious and nervous. He wanted to know how everything was going to happen.

We tried to explain how everything would go. One big worry was the rogatory letter that we wished to send to the British authorities.

The first priority was the realization of the cynothecnic exams to the residences of the McCann friends and holiday mates, and on their own, with the aim to examine the clothing and possessions of those persons, in an attempt to locate cadaver scent or human blood. For us these exams should be effectuated by the same cynothecnic team, with the same dogs EVRD and CSI, Eddie and Keela, and for such and with Stuart’s agreement, we send a letter applying for that team. We didn’t know which clothes the McCann had used on the night of May the 3rd.

At the beginning of the investigation we had solicited every photograph and film of that and the previous days, but they only supplied us daylight photographs; it’s as if the at night and on the famous Tapas dinners they never took any pictures, although some of the guests had their photo machines. This lack of night pics was something we never digested very well. With reference to the rogatory letter, we wanted to search and apprehend photos and film/videos of the holiday nights at the Ocean Club. At the McCann’s home we wanted to verify the existence of a board that pointed to the existence Maddie’s problems with sleeping. This had been mentioned by Kate and, according to the mother, had been used until April 2006, the time at which Madeleine started to sleep regularly during the night without interruptions. We wanted to apprehend the original of the diary that Kate Healy started writing from the May 3rd onwards.

It was our intention to re-interview the whole group of friends due to the inconstancies about their children’s surveillance scheme during the dinner periods at the Ocean Club. We wanted answers to our request formulated to the British authorities on the first day of our investigation, through the liaison officer, in Portugal, about the McCann family and their friends. Since, as incredible as it may seem, we hadn’t received any answer at that time to our insistent requests [note o.T.: late August], we were going to indicate these diligences through the rogatory letter. We questioned Stuart about that. He responded that “they were gathering elements about the couple and their friends”, and they had already sent a first answer. This one was related to the social economic situation and on it, strangely the British police stated that it was not known that the McCann possessed any credit cards.

Fraud or abuse of confidence?

In a relaxing moment of one of these reunions I may have committed a slip or, maybe, I was a little inopportune or less diplomatic. Worried with the possibility that the McCann were, in any way, involved in the disappearance of their child, and while I reasoned about the sort of crimes in which the same could be involved, I concluded a fact.

If, really, it became confirmed any sort of responsibility on the part of the McCann, then it would put in cause the existence of the Fund created for searching for Madeleine, which was up to 2 million pounds, a crime of fraud and confidence abuse. A debate opened up, and in fact, with the forwarded premises, this crime of fraud and abuse of confidence could exist, but Portugal wouldn’t have jurisdiction to investigate and trial such a case. This belonged to the United Kingdom, because the Fund was registered in that country. Then the British partners became aware of a tough reality: a strong possibility that they had a crime to investigate in their country, having as eventual suspects the McCann couple, a thing that didn’t seem to please them very much. Just got aware of a sudden paleness on the faces of the british present.

Gonçalo Amaral (2008: 191-193)

Discussion at The 3 Arguidos here