Thursday, 7 April 2011

Gonçalo Amaral interview April 4th on W9 with Sidonie Bonnec and Paul Lefèvre.


Sidonie Bonnec

The preview: (This programme was due to have been aired about 2 years ago, but was cancelled)

On Monday April 4th at 8.40pm on W9, through two unpublished documentaries, 'Enquêtes Criminelles' proposes to focus on the strange disappearance, on May 3rd 2007, of little Maddie McCann.

Maddie: the banned investigation.

Gonçalo Amaral, the Portuguese police office who directed the investigation before being thrown off it, is convinced of the parents involvement in the death of their daughter. According to the police officer, the little girl died accidentally in the apartment where the family were spending their holiday. Then the parents made it look like an abduction. For Gonçalo Amaral, the McCann couple lied to the investigators "because they were negligent with their children. They went to dinner leaving them alone. Such behaviour is reprehensible. They then set up the kidnapping story." Gonçalo Amaral returned to the scene of the drama. Before our cameras, he reconstructed, minute by minute, everything that happened on the day of the disappearance and put forward the contradictions from the various witnesses. You will see exclusive images recorded by the Portuguese police, which notably show the reaction of the police dogs as they went through Maddie's parents' apartment.

The parents' argument

In spite of Gonçalo Amaral's statements and the archiving of the investigation, Gerry and Kate McCann still believe that their daughter is alive. A few weeks ago, they published an age-advanced image of their daughter in the hope of finding her. Moreover, they have engaged two detectives who continue the investigation. The two men went back to the scene in Praia da Luz to produce a filmed reconstruction of the day of the drama. They found new witnesses who stated that they had seen a man hanging about near the McCanns' holiday apartment, several days before Maddie's disappearance. For them, that leaves no doubt: the man is the abductor. Following the detectives' investigation, you will see how, two years after the events, the McCanns are trying to live in their home near Leicester, in the English midlands, with their twin children.

What follows is a translation of a transcription of the programme which aired on the evening of Monday April 4th. Bonnec and Lefèvre present, 'Enquetes Criminelles' on French TV Channel W9.

The documentary produced with Gonçalo Amaral, based on his book, 'A verdade da Mentira,' (The Truth of the Lie) was shown first, followed by the interview with Gonçalo Amaral. Then came a video entitled, 'The parents' argument,' which is no longer available on the W9 web site, but from the transcript it seems to be part of the programme made for Channel 4, otherwise known as 'the mockumentary.'

This is Part 1 of the Amaral documentary, the rest of which I shall post at the end of this transcript.

Start of the broadcast. Sylvie Bonnec recalls the circumstances of May 3rd and how G Amaral was thrown off the investigation but remains convinced that sooner or later the truth will see the light of day (images from the documentary) She introduces Paul Lefèvre, a legal journalist. She recalls that 4 years later, the parents were exonerated after having been suspected. She presents surprising images recorded by the police. Kate’s appeal to the abductors is shown from start to finish and then a voiceover says that the official conclusion of the investigation states that the little girl had been abducted while she slept. SB then says that according to Amaral, the little girl died on May 3rd (and that the parents were involved in her disappearance), a version that many would like to see quashed.

She leads into the two documentaries, stating that they are unpublished in France: Amaral’s and the McCanns’ (with no further clarification as to their provenance) If I heard the phrase “4 years after,” correctly, it may be that the programme has been partly remade and the old footage added. It’s quite confusing.

Amaral footage: female voice commentating in French, apparently faithful in translation and intonation.
Return to the set with Amaral. Interview. (rough transcription from what I can remember, but there are certainly gaps) Transcription by frencheuropean.

L: You were taken off the investigation. Why does it bother you?

A: Before replying, I’d like to clarify one point. The parents were not innocent. That’s wrong. The case was closed, the parents could have opposed it but they preferred to use private detectives. It’s wrong to say that they were innocent.
It bothers me because I am telling the truth. The book represents 5 months of the investigation: the theory from the investigation. It’s the conclusion of the process in September 2007. Afterward, only one theory was retained, that of kidnapping. Other people were asked to keep quiet (myself and others)

L: I have experience of police investigations and sometimes the police have convictions and want to fit everything into that conviction. That’s the feeling I have here. No other theory seems to interest you.

A: That’s wrong. There is a beginning, a middle and an end to an investigation. The book ends in the middle of the investigation. At one time it was leaning towards kidnapping. But an investigation needs to run its course. Well, the investigation was prevented from concluding. The book is police work that some would like to be kept hidden.

B: I don’t understand why you attach so much importance to the fact that Kate did not shout from the balcony, took the long way round rather than the shorter route to warn the tapas, bearing in mind the dark night and the cold.

L: It’s a minor point but specialists say that the first reaction is to protect the remaining children. Kate left them alone (in these circumstances)

B: Why not have taken the little girl to the hospital (in the case of an accident)?

A: The investigation was half-way through. We were just beginning to see things. It should have run its course. There were perhaps other theories: a burglar who could have killed the child and taken her body elsewhere, for example….other tracks. (Note: the reply does no really relate to the question. There is a cut in the interview?)

L: OK, you say that the police officer who followed you gave up, lay down and that there was political pressure.

A: Your interpretation is correct.

L: (Explains the different roles of the two dogs) What were the English dogs looking for, a living or a dead person?

A: They were looking for a body.

L: You say the child was killed falling from the sofa. Can a child really be killed falling 60 centimetres?

A: It’s possible.

B: What more could you have done?

A: Look for the freezer, who had one. At that time I was dismissed and nobody looked in that direction.

L: How could the parents have got rid of a body? They were under constant surveillance that evening.

A: We should bear in mind that the police were informed well after the alert was raised. The alert doesn’t coincide with the “kidnapping,” any more than the witness statement from Tanner who says she saw the kidnapper at 9.30pm and didn’t alert the police. Why? In reality, when the parents gave the alert, all worries about transport (of the body) were taken care of.

McCanns’s documentary. Return to the set.

L: 3 witnesses (those who saw a man watching the apartment) were heard by their detectives: did you rule out these witness statements or did you miss this?

A: Everybody near that busy road was interrogated. The police interrogated all the witnesses, even a musician who was sleeping in his car.

L: Did you find that man?

A: It was D Payne, the McCanns’ friend who was often with them and the witness statement of the young girl was not reckoned to be of any value. (Note: the one who saw the horrible spotty man, I assume)
Concerning the man carrying the child seen by Tanner: there is a huge problem. J Tanner produced a lot of discrepancies, going from great uncertainty at the beginning through certainty with the progression of successive statements.
The Smiths were 80% sure that it was Gerry McCann…The film (the McCanns’) speaks of two witnesses (with similar statements) but Smith talks about the child carried with her head on the shoulder and Tanner across the arms.

L: You are a well-known man in Portugal, a man of experience. Do you really think that this nice, middle-class English couple, are calculating and Machiavellian enough to have done this?

A: It’s not the problem posed by an individual who believes something. It’s a police investigation, within the context of police work
Someone goes on holiday in a foreign country and thinks the laws are the same. Concerning the law, in England abandoning children is severely punished…

L: (cutting Amaral off by bursting out laughing) Everybody does it!

A: (Raising his voice, sounding angry) Yes, it’s abandonment to leave children on their own like that….it’s non-punishable negligence in Portugal. In England it’s punishable and the tapas know it.

L: Is that why they concealed the body?

A. There could be other reasons: so that the state of the body would not be known. But there wasn’t time to explore the theories. Perhaps if the investigation had been completed they’d all have been done?

End of the interviews. S. Bonnec concludes by saying:

Maddie’s parents did not wish to come and have their say.”