Much was made during the week about Kate and Gerry McCann being named as arguidos, or official suspects.

Before that, you might recall, the Portuguese police declared a totally innocent man, Robert Murat to be an arguido, on the clever policing insight that he’s separated and has a daughter of his own back in England, and therefore more than likely kidnapped Madeleine. Obviously.

But guess who else is an arguido? Well, that would be Mr Goncalo Amaral, a senior policeman working on the McCann case, who is also an arguido as are four of his colleagues. Or, to be more precise, he was an arguido, but now that he’s been charged, he’s gone beyond that.

They just love their arguidos over there in Portugal. Policing, you see, in a country like Portugal, isn’t quite the same as policing here, in spite of all I’ve said about our cops. The reason? Well, Portugal was a military dictatorship until about thirty years ago, and you would never want to forget that. The people at the top of the Portuguese police are the same people who served as base-level policemen under the Junta, and police-state practices don’t disappear overnight. Thirty years is but an eyeblink in the life of a nation.

Here’s Mr Amaral.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The case he’s being investigated for involves the disappearance of a child in 2004, seven miles from Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing. The missing girl’s mother, Leonor Cipriano was questioned by Mr Amaral and his colleagues about the abduction of her daughter, and in this case, the police saw no need to have a lawyer present during the interrogation.

The interview went well and Ms Cipriano confessed under the inescapable logic and forensic questioning of these fine officers. Clearly, since Ms Cipriano was a local person, and without much money, they felt they could be a little more direct with their questioning.

Here’s Ms Cipriano after the interview:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Now Portuguese law, as we’ve all been assured over the past few months, is very exact and precise, but also very, very fair. This is why it was possible to convict Ms Cipriano of murder, though no body was found, and at the same time to charge Mr Amaral and his four colleagues variously with torture, omission of evidence and falsification of evidence.

Isn’t that good? Wouldn’t you have great faith in such people and such a system?

Wouldn’t you believe every word they leak to the the press about the McCanns?

Of course you would.



Pope Pays Price for Hearing McCanns’ Confession

Madeleine McCann

Portuguese Police Get Sense at Last

McCanns Not Suspects, Say Portuguese Police


kick it on

41 thoughts on “Portuguese Police, Arguidos and the McCanns

  1. I don’t see your point.

    The MET police shot Harry Stanley, and when an inquest found he had been unlawfully killed and attemots were made to prosecute those involved, the police threatened to go on strike.

    This story has been around a week, and has about as much relevance to the McCann, as Philomena’s claim that the police offered Kate a deal to confess – somthing her lawyer denied.

    If the DNA evidence proves correct, what are you gonna do, make smears about the British police who collected and processed it?

  2. OMG, Bock, you’re like Philip Marlowe on this case.
    Well done.
    This guy’s track record screams out all sorts of caution signs. Look at that poor woman.
    Stay on it.

  3. Trannyfattyacid: Don’t lecture me about smears. I visited your obsessional website about the McCanns and you, my friend, have a problem. In fact, you’re part of the problem.

    Medbh: I didn’t dig it out. It’s common knowledge, but spread the word. It’s time the sane people fought back against these fucking nutcases.

  4. I’m not being cynical about the Portugese cops beating up that woman, but I’m pretty sure that picture has been digitally enhanced.

    The left eye has been stretched out and expanded just by using a trasnform tool with click and drag. You can tell because it’s all puffed out two-dimensionally — if it was real then it wouldn’t look so flat.

    I can do a demo in Photoshop for anybody who doesn’t believe me.

    But I’m not saying she wasn’t bruised badly in the first place – I’m just saying it looks like it’s been heavily exaggerated.

  5. “Leonor Cipriano and her brother, who had a incestuous relationship, were both sentenced to 16 years in jail, after appealing to Portuguese Supreme Court, for the murder of Joana Cipriano. Her body never appeared, but blood found inside the family’s refrigerator and the confession of Joana’s uncle were sufficient to convince the jury. Her case has been referred, by the British Media, in what seems to be an attempt to discredit Portuguese Police, comparing it with Madeleine’s case.

    “Joana Cipriano, who never confessed the crime, accused five CID officers of beating her. Later, she was not able to identify none of the five officers, when she was taken to a police line-up, behind a two-way mirror. The Public Prosecutor’s Office decided to charge the five CID officers ASFIC, the CID inspectors union filled a formal complaint against the Public Prosecutor’s magistrate, because he didn’t included in the case’s dossier the results of the police line up.

    “The fact that one of the officers accused in Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral casts “huge doubt” to the managing director of WT Associates, who believes that Mr. Amaral should be ousted from the investigation of Madeleine’s case: “”Even if we work on the basis that he is innocent, given this allegation against him, he shouldn’t have anything to do with the Madeleine investigation”, the PR expert told to Sky News.

    “Questioned yesterday, September 14, about his business relationship, as a expert also in media handling and advice for high profile cases, Mr. Mark Williams-Thomas initially confirmed that his company had a contract to provide services to the McCann. Asked to confirm some details of that business relationship, he changed his initial answer and denied any relationship, admitting only that he has “been in contact with the press officers for the family.”

    “We asked also to Sky News if they were aware of the fact that Mr Mark Williams-Thomas was also the owner and managing director of a PR company, as Sky News has invited almost every day, to comment about Madeleine McCan’s case, introducing him only as a “child protection expert” or a “crime expert”. We are waiting for Sky News answer to those questions.”

    [Portuguese journalist who left a comment on my blog a few days ago]

  6. Annie and Nora: If it’s a photshop picture, well and good. It isn’t evidence in this argument, only illustration. The point is somewhat different.

    Since so much emphasis has been placed on this arguido status to damn the McCanns, you’d imagine they’d apply the same standards of condemnation to other arguidos, wouldn’t you? Including the policemen on the case.

    The guilt or innocence of the Ciprianos is not the point here. For all I know, they did it. The point is no-one seems to dispute that an assault took place, and the Portuguese authorities took it seriously enough to press charges. Yet this is the same local police force now constantly leaking to the press, in spite of the supposedly strict Portuguese privacy laws, in an attempt to smear the McCanns.

    And, at the risk of being boring, I repeat: the McCanns might well be guilty of something, but this appalling, self-satisfied denunciation campaign is not the way to find out.

  7. Bock,

    The guilt or innocence of the Ciprianos is not the point. But she couldn’t identify even ONE of the officers she said had beaten her up. And what about the smearing on the British side:

    Mr Mark Williams-Thomas was also the owner and managing director of a PR company (who has been operating for the McCanns), who Sky News has invited almost every day, to comment about Madeleine McCan’s case, introducing him only as a “child protection expert” or a “crime expert”.

    And why did Sky News know about Madeleine’s “abduction” 11 minutes after it happened — but the local police were only called another 30 minutes after that again?

    And did you know this about the McCanns?

    “The couple are understood to be consulting a number of senior industry figures about their media strategy, with the leading candidate thought to be former News of the World and Hello! editor Phil Hall.”

  8. “The couple are understood to be consulting a number of senior industry figures about their media strategy, with the leading candidate thought to be former News of the World and Hello! editor Phil Hall.”

    I think it’s easy for us to declare this kind of behaviour as abnormal because it smacks of something reality TV stars and has-been models might do, not bereaved parents. But really, this is the age of celebrity, however you’ve been landed with it, and there really is no “normal beahviour” in cases like this.

    Saying that, the whole case was sketchy from the word go what with the leaving-babies-on-their-own thing, so who knows.

    One thing for sure, we’re all secretly hoping they DID do it, so we have somebody to justifiably hate upon again. After all, the whole Britney thing is over, hey.

  9. “Saying that, the whole case was sketchy from the word go what with the leaving-babies-on-their-own thing”

    If they were not responsible for her (accidental) death, then they must be held responsible for leaving the kiddies on their own — thus leaving her in a situation where she was abducted. They can’t have it *both* ways, I’m afraid.

  10. Nora: We’ve all seen the weight placed on this arguido status by the accusers of the McCanns, and yet, when a policeman turns out to also be an arguido, there’s silence.

    As far as smearing is concerned, the consequences for the McCanns will be catastrophic if the smearing campaign (as opposed to any investigation) is successful. And there is a lot of smearing going on by the Portuguese police.

    The facts people bring up certainly raise suspicion, but that’s exactly what I keep trying to return to. Suspicion just isn’t enough.

    I wrote a post about the dangers of gross suspicion in a different context. You might remember it HERE.

    I’m worried about this lynch-mob mentality: you only have to look at that sad poor fucker who posted here earlier. There’s somebody so motivated that he has an entire blog devoted to accusing the McCanns. Imagine how pathetic that is! A person so lacking in any kind of life that he feels the need to maintain a blog about the McCanns.

    It’s like a pack of fucking hyenas.

    By the way, I don’t know about you, but I could think of some pretty hairy things involving my own kids. For instance, letting them wander around a pub where God knows what madman was on the loose. Imagine if some nutter had abducted one of my kids while I was having a pint and took my eyes off the children. Would the Moral Majority be pointing their great blameless moral fingers at me too?

  11. For the love and honour of fuck! Or should I say, “feckin Nora!” It seems that, all of a sudden, people want the McCanns to be guilty. It possible that they are but I sincerely doubt it. My bet is that, regrettably, that beautiful child is dead. I still hold out a slim hope that she’ll be found but it’s fucking doubtful at this stage. Because she can’t be found, this is becoming a trial by media. Unfortunately, a lot of journalists couldn’t give a fuck about the truth. They want to please their editors and their editors only care about moving units. When the McCann’s innocence is finally revealed, most of you fucking conspiracy theorists will still say that it was all their fault because you can’t admit when you’re wrong. Wait for the facts – FACTS!!! If any of you ever lost a child, you might begin to grasp the magnitude of it. If any of you accidentally killed your own child, you’d kill yourselves. If any of you were framed for the death of your own child, you wouldn’t appreciate fucking idiots going on about how an infamously corrupt police force were right. It never ceases to amaze me how some idiots will jump on the media bandwagon because they’re too fucking warped to err on the side of caution.
    Fair play to you yet again, Bock.

  12. Oh and, by the way, did any of you computer whiz-kids export the Cipriano picture back into photoshop before you go on about how it’s fake?
    I’m sorry but I have to jump off the fence here – grow a fucking brain.

  13. I’d say it could have been something more like this…

    Which is just as bad really, only less obviously fake swelling.

    Of course, this is just pure speculation. For all we know, the whole thing was ‘shopped, or maybe absolutely none of it was (although I’m pretty sure it was, see my opinions on its quality above). But I’m just demonstrating how easy it is to manipulate these images that all float about on the internet.

    However, this is pretty shoddy work on my part, as it was done quickly, and remember this photo has been enhanced TWICE now (IMHO), so it looks pretty rough.

    But like Bock says, the pic is really for illustrative purposes only, it doesn’t actually matter all that much if it’s been airbrushed or not.

  14. Annie: Yeah. That certainly doesn’t look as bad.

    It just looks like an everyday, justifiable beating that any woman would get from a man.

    Hard to know what all the fuss is about.

  15. Bock, is it right to present something as hard-to-hardish evidence backing up your case then, when someone does a pretty decent job of pointing out what a poor job of Photoshoppery someone’s done on it, respond with sarcasm?
    Okay, it might not be as significant as someone actually having the shit kicked out of them by the police, but exaggerating evidence is, as I recall, against all sorts of laws in… Well, everywhere, as far as I know. I mean, if that were submitted in court, obviously. Isn’t this the same kind of reaction that’s happening the other way everywhere else*? Someone postulates something about the situation, others decry, and when it’s questioned… Sarcasm or name-calling.

    I just pointed out it was shitty Photoshop work, Cap’n P. I work with Photoshop every bastard day, and I already have a fucking brain, ta.

    Just saying.

    *What a shit sentence!

  16. Of course it is as bad, that’s what I said. But the point i’m making is that images are easily manipulated — some dude asked me to prove it so I did.

    I think people should be aware of how easy it is to change things in Photoshop. Not necessarily in this case but in advertising etc.

  17. Badgerdaddy: Ok.I see your point, though the central; thing is the fact that charges have been laid against the policemen and there’s nothing said about it. They’re actually past the stage of being arguido. Yet the McCanns are still only declared suspects by the police and are nevertheless being treated as criminals by some.

    Annie: Sorry. That might have come across as a bit sharp. I was actually agreeing with you.

  18. Bock, I’m cynical about the media and I’m cynical about policing. As far as I know all outcomes are still possible, and there may be no certain, satisfactory and credible resolution of this case.

    I will make one observation about the McCann parents – in my view they were negligent and everything flows from that, including their approach subsequently.

    I know a few doctors, they leave their medical bags locked in the boots of their cars. They do this even when they’re just a few metres away inside a house, be it their own or someone they’re visiting socially. What they NEVER do is leave their medical bags in plain view in an unlocked car. It’s not because they’re especially clever. It’s common sense, if you follow me.

  19. That’s fair enough Bock, and the points you’ve made are totally valid. Looking at the whole case – or what I’ve read and heard, at least – it’s really difficult to see any definitive conclusion to this, isn’t it? It’s just fucking ugly whichever way you look at it. But I wasn’t aware of the thing with the police until I read your lovely blog, so thanks for that – more reading on this required on my part.
    Fucking tough thing to have an opinion on too. There seems to be a fuckload of misinformation, or a lack of information – as you’ve shown today, with the police info – out there. Or not out there, if you see what I mean.

  20. Sure there is a lot of bullshit and misinformation floating around but I think it was Bock that pointed out we should stick to the facts and the facts unlike the truth are pure and simple; two parents left a four year old and two two year old twins on their own in a foreign country while they had a meal with friends. Guilty as fucking sin. You can talk about smear campaigns, corrupt cops and conspiracy theories all you want but ironically all you end up creating is more smoke to distort the truth which is simple; a four year old is missing probably dead because they saw nothing wrong with leaving three kids on their own. I would have slightly more symphathy if the kid had wondered off and been snatched but to actually decide to leave your kids on their own, unsupervised is fucking stupid. Parents are suppoused to nurture and protect their children not run off and have a good time in a fucking tepas bar.

  21. Fiver: Sorry, but you’re factually wrong.

    The child isn’t missing because the parents went for a meal.

    The child is missing because something else happened, and we don’t yet know what it is.

  22. Men might be different, but I think Annie that you’d be surprised at the extent of swelling that can occur in women and children, particularly if there are fractures and if there’s no treatment for the swelling in the hours after the injuries. The bruising alone is severe enough for that degree of swelling.

    There seems to be a lot of violence by male police towards women being shown in the media lately.

    I think you’ve raised a valid concern over the way the case has been handled, and one would have to ask why the police only hopped on board after the McCanns began suing the newspaper that alleged they were the killers.

  23. chid is missing because her parents leave her alone. They don’t know how world is dangerous nowadays?so…I know and I will never let my kids alone, specially with a open window and in a country I don’t know.For me,they must be charged for negligence.

  24. 1- The british media distorted the facts.

    2- Lots of propaganda and desinformation

    4- So, and because the pressure (also political) the portuguese cops dont have conditions to do their job.

    5- The girl never show up.

    6- And yes, the McCan’s are the nº1 suspects.

    7- The british public think the McCan’s are victims of portuguese police…

    8- Why the british media dont find Madaleine?

    9- …

  25. I might leave my door unlocked tonight, but if somebody burgles the house I won’t be the guilty party. The guilty person will be the burglar.

    No criminal, no crime.

    The child is missing because somebody abducted her.

  26. No… contributory negligence. You are charged with parental responsibility. You’re free to walk the jungles of Africa at night but if you get killed and eaten by lions, will you blame the lions ? So… no lions, no cadaver of Bock lying in the jungle. — A simple notion really !!

  27. You’re confusing civil and criminal law. Negligence doesn’t come into it.

    Next thing, you’ll be blaming rape victims for dressing provocatively.

  28. I couldn’t possibly make that mistake– not me. We’re discussing instead moral parental responsibility (or at least the rest of us were).
    But if you want a short legal debate I am ready !!

  29. Bock… this case isn’t about rape or about dressing provocatively so that part of the remark has been ignored :)

  30. This principle has been discussed extensively, both on this site and elsewhere. All sides of the argument have been expressed and I don’t have the time or the inclination to keep you entertained by repeating what has already been said.

    Enjoy yourself.

  31. You don’t need to. -It’s I would not do it. I am a British lawyer and all I need is a layman to take me back to my law school days (criminal… civil law).

  32. May I write on your blog, found by searching news about Hauts de la Garenne?
    So cadaver dogs were wrong in Jersey?
    On Google, those cases are always linked: McCANN, MATTHIEW, CIPRIANO, Hauts de la Garenne, Caylee ANTHONY (USA) Antoine de BRUGEROLLES (France), sniffer dogs…
    Mr. Correia, a lawyer from Madeira, searched last spring Madeleine McCann’s body in Bravura lake near Lagos Portugal, after having “a supernatural vision”. He said METODO3, a spanish agency working for McCanns, payed for this search. Only a few bones of animals were found.
    METODO3 asked Mr Correia to become CIPRIANO’s second and new lawyer. This morning Mr Correia said he would ask the court to launch specifically against Goncalo Amaral an indictment for torture, and to conduct a separate trial against him.
    Please excuse my English!

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