"The only person prosecuted in the case of the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann is the officer who conducted the investigation"

Maddie's disappearance: The Banned Book

by Georges Moréas*

Today, the only person prosecuted in the case of the disappearance of little Madeleine McCann is the officer who conducted the investigation. He will be sued for 1.2 million euros for his book 'A Verdade da Mentira' ('L'enquête interdite' at Bourin Publishers).

Pushed aside from the investigation, pushed to resign, the Inspector Gonçalo Amaral (even if he waived his legal duty of reserve) didn't do more than resume point by point the various stages of the investigations. But he especially highlighted some inefficiencies due largely to the weakness of the Portuguese authorities in face of the pressures from the government of Her British Majesty.

At the end of his book, he delivers the conclusions of his work and that of his team. That can be summarized as follows:

1 / Maddie died inside the holiday apartment on the night of 3rd of May, 2007;

2 / There was a simulated abduction;

3 / The parents are probably involved in the concealment of the body;

4 / The death could have happened as a result of a tragic accident;

5 / Probably there is negligence by the parents regarding the custody and safety of their children.

The McCann couple were indicted in September 2007, then they were cleared of all charges and the case has been "archived". They have always protested their innocence and with the assistance of a mysterious network ... they benefited with the support of leading personalities from the world of finance and politics. They have even been received by the Pope. They created an association that has drained, it is said, several million euros. Under the threat of libel, they've obtained, as they always say, 700.000 euros from several English-language newspapers.

And rather than reviving the investigation as the Portuguese legislation permits, they preferred to use private detectives, some of which were certainly not the cream of the profession.

The latest was the publishing of a sketch of a woman who, three days after the disappearance of Maddie, approached two men in Barcelona to tell them: «Do you have it? Do you have my new daughter?». Then she realized she had mistaken the interlocutors and left quickly.

Today, the couple McCann were able to obtain [an injunction] so that all the books by Gonçalo Amaral are taken out of sale and that the money made by the author copyright, received to date (that seems important, because the book sold well) is returned. They seek further 1.2 million euros compensation, "at least" for damages and interests. Most importantly, this book cannot be published abroad (I did not manage to contact the French publisher). Coincidentally, this decision comes just as the book should be translated into English.

But across the Channel, the story of the disappearance of little Maddie has profoundly influenced public opinion. With two camps:

Those for whom the McCann parents were unfortunate victims of harassment by the Portuguese police, and those who regard them as suspects or at least responsible for the failure to supervise their children.

The McCann couple have justified their action against the policeman saying (free translation): "(...) There is no evidence suggesting that Kate and I have been involved (...) I hope people understand that we must do this."

We joggle between the compassion for the parents who can not admit the death of their child and the many doubts that remain after a cautious investigation from the outset - and that stopped too soon ...

It is true that in France, it remains unclear what happened to little Tiphaine, disappeared on June 18, 2009, in the heart of Maubeuge. And there is no information either on Antoine, the little boy who disappeared from his home in Issoire, one year ago. For the latter, the prosecutor, so prolific at the time, simply stated a few days ago in Le Figaro: "The investigation has not made any significant progress".

I remember those old cops of the criminal department who used to say, when they wanted to calm down a chief or a magistrate too impulsive: An investigation that begins with certainties always end with doubts.

in Police Etcetera

*Honorary Chief Commissioner of the National French Police

Read & listen as well: Jacques Pradel on Europe 1 with Gonçalo Amaral and Georges Moréas

With thanks to Joana Morais for the translation

Interview: Jacques Pradel on Europe 1 with Gonçalo Amaral and Georges Moréas


38.12 Jaques Pradel : Ok, if you doubted that we are live, you know now. OK, a direct question immediately for Mr Gonçalo Amaral and here I refer directly to the book that has just come out. You talk about, you say that all these couples have been getting together for years for short holidays, like that, a little unusual and notably so in Minorca, I believe, in Majorca, pardon, in 2005, and me, when I read your book, I understand that David Cayne, David Payne, pardon, looks very much like a paedophile. You don't write the word "paedophile," but you hint that he has inappropriate gestures related to children.

38.57 Gonçalo Amaral : No, I don't use that word. I talk about his obscene gestures in relation to Madeleine McCann. It's an accusation that had been made on May 16th 2007, in England, 14 days after the disappearance, and which only got to the PJ on October 26th, after I had left. And nothing was done about it.

39.23 Jacques Pradel : OK.

39.24 Gonçalo Amaral : So, other than that gesture, if you look carefully at what is written, he was bathing the children in a certain inappropriate manner. It was he who was bathing the children and I wonder if he didn't do that with her, with the little girl that day of May 3rd.

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