An article by Timothy Trevelyan for The Madeleine Foundation, 5 January 2012
NOTE: LIBEL AND THE MADELEINE FOUNDATION
The Madeleine Foundation website is constantly monitored by the McCanns’ lawyers, Carter-Ruck, who recently demanded that 10 lengthy articles on our website be removed. Reluctantly, we complied in full with their demands. In this and any other articles we publish from here on, we confine ourselves to the facts of the matter, and do not offer any commentary on the facts, pending Court decisions on just what we can say.
On 7 April 2010, we published an article by our Secretary, Tony Bennett, titled: ‘The Madeleine McCann mystery and the strange role of Madeira lawyer, Marcos Aragao Correria: His links with the McCanns and Metodo 3, and his legal actions against his ‘target’, Goncalo Amaral, the senior Portuguese detective who declared the McCanns suspects in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann”. Over 16 months later, the McCanns wrote to Tony claiming that this article libelled them. We are not sure by any means that this factual article libeled them, but nevertheless we withdrew the article immediately.
We would like however to draw readers’ attention to the following relevant facts:
1. In March 2010, on Channel 4, the McCanns’ chief public relations officer, former head of Tony Blair’s media control unit, Clarence Mitchell, described the disappearance of Madeleine Mcann as ‘a complete mystery’
2. On 6 January 2011, Mr Mitchell, again, referred three times to the claim that Madeleine had been abducted as ‘an assumption’ or ‘a working hypothesis’
3. Giving evidence on oath at the recent Leveson Inquiry into press conduct, Dr Gerald McCann said, quote: “I don’t have a problem with somebody purporting a theory”.
4. Furthermore, in the same enquiry, Dr Gerald McCann also said: I strongly believe in freedom of speech”.
5. In relation to Carter-Ruck’s regular monitoring of our website and many other Madeleine McCann discussion forums, Dr Kate McCann has said, on page 287 of her recent book, ‘madeleine’: “Adam Tudor and his colleague Isabel Hudson [both of Carter-Ruck] continue to do a vast amount of work for us, without payment…” No-one has yet established yet why Carter-Ruck are doing such a ‘vast amount’ of expensive legal work for free.
New Year’s Day 2011 saw a very public rant published on the internet from a Portuguese lawyer who has been very much involved in events following the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann – Marcos Texeira Aragão Correia. We’ll call him just ‘Marcos Correia’ from here on.
Below, we reproduce his rant.
Then we’ll go on to explain the background to Mr Corriea’s involvement in the case, and highlight some of his actions since he first became involved.
Those of you who are familiar with the case will find that we are going over some old ground that we and the various Madeleine McCann websites, forums and blogs have covered. However, we try to aim our articles at those new to the case, so please bear with us as we try to piece together how the puzzle of Marcos Correia fits into the overall jigsaw of the Madeleine McCann case.
Marcos Correia’s rant was published on an internet forum called ‘justice4mccannfam’, run by people who believe that the McCanns are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about what happened to their daughter Madeleine on 3 May 2007, when she was reported missing.
Here is Marcos Correia’s rant:
MARCOS CORREIA’S NEW YEARS DAY RANT
Goncalo Amaral tries dirty tricks with Marcos
by christabel, 1 January 2012 at 7:45 pm
De: Marcos Aragão Correia - Advogado [Advocate/Lawyer]
Data: 1 de Janeiro de 2012 - 17:06hrs
Assunto: Urgent - Torture against Leonor Cipriano by the Portuguese State
Dear ***** *******,
I want to inform Amnesty International that I'm being a victim of illegal and brutal persecution by the Portuguese State.
As you know, I'm the lawyer of Leonor Cipriano, the Portuguese lady that was brutally tortured by police officers of the Portuguese State. This torture, as you also know, was proven by a Jury Court, and its verdict was confirmed by the Appeal Court. In the sequence, two police officers were convicted for torture-related crimes, one of them Gonçalo de Sousa Amaral, the leader of the police team, who was convicted for perjury to a 1 year and 6 months suspended jail sentence, because it was proven that he knew since the moment of the crime that Leonor Cipriano was tortured by the police, but he lied, saying that she wasn't.
Nevertheless, after the jury verdict, the Portuguese State accused me of criminal libel for writing a report dated before the beginning of that same trial, where the testimony of Leonor Cipriano about the torture she suffered was divulged. A university teacher, President of a Portuguese association (ACED) that has divulged the report, was also accused. Despite the efforts to prove that the accusation was illegal, the Portuguese State has notified us on 23 December 2011 for us to be judged by a non-Jury court for criminal libel against the already convicted Gonçalo de Sousa Amaral!
This is clearly an evil and illegal manoeuvre by the Portuguese State in order to question the torture verdict, a verdict that can not be modified by another appeal (no more appeals are allowed).
In order to guarantee the human rights of Leonor Cipriano and me as her lawyer, we ask Amnesty International to intervene urgently, denouncing publicly this absolutely illegal court action against us.
Notification of the Portuguese State attached.
Thank you very much!
Marcos Aragão Correia,
Lawyer for Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano.
[Note: Very slight corrections have been made to the wording of Marcos Correia’s letter, only where necessary for meaning and grammar].
A. What is this letter about?
Marcos Correia has received a summons from Portuguese prosecutors, on 23 December, accusing him of ‘criminal libel’ with respect to statements made by him and another. According to Marcos Correia, he is being prosecuted for: “Writing a report dated before the beginning of that same trial [of five detectives accused of torture in the Leonor Cipriano case], where the testimony of Leonor Cipriano about the torture she suffered was divulged”. If proved, the accusation against him carries criminal penalties.
Rather dramatically, he claims he is being ‘persecuted’. No, he’s simply being prosecuted. The case agaisnt him arises from a report he wrote in 2008 about the Leonor Cipriano case. Before we go any further, then, we need to explain who Leonor Cipriano is and why Marcos Corriea is connected with the case.
B. Leonor Cipriano - and her accusations
Leonor Cipriano was sentenced in 2007, together with her brother Joao, for the brutal murder of her own 8-year-old daughter, Joana Cipriano. She and her brother received, respectively, jail terms of 16 years and 8 months, and 16 years. Many regarded them as worthy of the death sentence for their atrocious crime. The full details are too graphic to record here.
In outline, Leonor and her brother Joao had an incestuous relationship. Joana was unlucky enough to discover them in bed together. The couple thereupon brutally murdered her, Joana managing to reach the front door to escape from them before she was killed and dismembered and they disposed of her body. The pair of murderers then claimed that Joana had been abducted, triggering a nationwide hunt across Portugal.
A team of detectives under Dr Gonçalo Amaral - the lead detective in the initial investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – was responsible for investigating Joana’s disappearance. They concluded that she had been murdered. With overwhelming evidence against them, both Leonor Cipriano and her brother voluntarily confessed to their crime, Joao giving a detailed account of what happened. They began their jail sentences in the spring of 2007, only weeks before Madeleine McCann was reported missing.
The investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance was also begun under Dr Gonçalo Amaral. But five months into that investigation, he was removed from it, under very controversial circumstances, on 2 October 2007.
Some time during 2006, and before the trial at which she was found guilty, Leonor Cipriano alleged that she had only made a confession because she had been tortured by brutal police detectives, led by Dr Amaral. She produced graphic photographs of herself, taken in Odemira Women’s Prison, with two black eyes, and many bruises on her body. She, with the help of her then lawyers, initiated a criminal investigation into the conduct of Dr Amaral and four of his fellow detectives, accusing them all of torturing her and of covering this up.
Ms Cipriano asked the judicial authorities to investigate the following charges:
(a) against Gonçalo Amaral, for allegedly filing a false report which, it was said, covered up torture methods used by his colleagues, and
(b) against three his team of detectives accused of torture (Leonel Marques, Marques Bom and Pereira Cristóvão), and a fourth detective (António Cardoso), also accused of making a false report.
The Portuguese Police did not view these allegations against Dr Amaral as in the least credible. He was therefore not suspended during the investigation into Ms Cipriano’s allegations, and carried on as a senior police inspector. It was in this capacity that he was appointed the senior investigating officer for the Madeleine Mccann case.
On 8 April 2008, in an event which we shall shortly discuss in more detail, Leonor Cipriano, without telling her existing lawyers, instructed Marcos Correia to represent her in her accusations against Dr Amaral.
The trial of Dr Amaral and his four detective colleagues began just over 6 months later, on 21 October 2008. It was to last several days, and was spread out over an astonishing 7-month period, due to several adjourments.
It must be said at this point that in May 2009, the court convicted Dr Amaral and one other officer (António Cardoso) of the criminal offence of ‘filing a false report’. None of the five officers were found guilty of Leonor Cipriono’s central allegation, namely her claim that she had been tortured by them.
It should also be recorded before we move on that there is evidence that Leonor Cipriano suffered those two black eyes and bruises not at the hands of the police at all - but received those injuries from fellow-prisoners, horrified at her crimes, after she was remanded in custody, following her being charged with murdering her daughter Joana.
On 8 April 2008, as we shall examine in more detail later, Marcos Correia wrote a report, based on Leonor Cipriano’s allegations, and sent it to the Ministry of Justice and various judicial bodies. The report made serious alleagtions against Dr Amaral.
In response, Dr Amaral laid information soon afterwards to the Portuguese judicial authorites about the content of Marcos Correia’s statement. The state prosecutors, it would seem, have now informed Mr Correia, just before Christmas, as it happens, that he has a case to answer. This is what has prompted his rant - his letter of outrage to Amnesty International, which we saw above and his claims of being ‘persecuted’.
Before continuing by examining Marcos Correia’s career, and his involvement in the Madeleine McCann case, we should just say one thing about Dr Gonçalo Amaral’s conviction and suspended prison sentence for allegedly filing a false report.
From the evidence we have been able to see, we do not think that Dr Amaral falsified a report, certainly not knowingly. We regard the trial of him as political, and the outcome as political. This was no ordinary court case, and we do not regard the vedict in his case as a just one. Dr Amaral did appeal against conviction and sentence, but unsuccessfully. These events have enabled his opponents to label him as a ‘criminal’.
C. The early career of Marcos Correia
We have covered this elsewhere in detail, on our website. However, due to action by the McCanns’ lawyers’, Carter-Ruck, on 12 August 2011, we have had to take down much of our material about him. The McCanns considered that it libelled them.
In summary, Marcos Texeora Aragão Correia was born in 1975, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, some 400 miles south-west of Portugal, in the Atlantic Ocean. That makes him 36 years old at the date of writing.
In 1997, at the age of 22, around the time he qualified as a lawyer, he appears to have founded - and set himself up as head of - a so-called ‘Human Rights Association’, ‘ACED’ (Associação Contra a Exclusão pelo Desenvolvimento).
At the age of around 25, we think in 2000, he set up his own legal practice, claiming to specialise in ‘human rights’ cases.
You will have seen, above, that in his rant to Amnesty International, he refers to his fellow-accused as: “A University teacher, President of a Portuguese Association (ACED) that has divulged the report”. He does not name his colleague, but (see below) it appears, from what we can find out, that this is Antonio Perdo Dores, said to be a Professor at Lisbon University. Whilst Marcos Correia has been described as the ‘head’ of ACED, there seems also, then, to be a President, namely Antonio Pedro Dores.
From internet researches, it seems that ACED is not well regarded in Portugal, has a track record of making outrageous claims, and is looked on by some as merely a vehicle for self-promotion by Marcos Correia.
Around three years later, around 2003, Marcos Correia is reported as co-founding a right-wing, nationalist political party, which as yet appears to have gained little popular support and has no MPs or Councillors. That party had taken into membership a number of people with neo-Nazi ideology, some of them who had served prison sentences for their crimes. It is not known whether Mr Correia is still a member of that party.
D. Marcos Correia’s involvement in the Madeleine McCann case
Marcos Correia was to tell the media, when he first became publicly associated with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, in January 2008, that on Sunday 6 May 2007 - just three days after Madeleine McCann was reported missing – he had been told that ‘underworld sources’ had told him that Madeleine McCann had ‘been abducted, raped, killed and her body thrown in a ‘murky lake’.’
He was later to admit that this story was a complete and utter fabrication having absolutely no foundation whatsoever.
He then came up with an entirely new account of how his interest in the Madeleine McCann case was supposed to have come about. He now had an entirely novel explanation for how he came to believe (see below) that Madeleine’s body had been thrown into a murky lake.
He now informed the media that his interest in Madeleine had begun with a supernatural vision. This vision, he claimed, had come to him upon his conversion to spiritualism in Madeira. He said that he had recently become a spiritualist and had received a supernatural vision on the evening after his very first attendance at a Spritualist Church meeting on Madeira, on Saturday 5 May 2007, two days after Madeleine was reported missing. In this vision, he claimed he had seen Madeleine’s body being thrown into a lake – which he subsequently decided must have been the Arade Dam.
This is the full account he gave to Portuguese journalist José Leite, from the magazine O Crime, of this vision, in December 2008:
“On 5th May [the Saturday immediately after Madeleine was reported missing], on returning from a spiritualist meeting in Madeira, immediately after going to bed, but just before falling asleep - at around midnight - an extraordinary thing happened to me, for the first time in my life. I saw the image of a little girl that must have been around four years of age, with blonde, shoulder-length straight hair, blue eyes, very disturbed, visibly unable to understand what was happening to her, accompanied by a female being of great beauty and great spiritual standing.
“Then, other images appeared to me, concerning what had happened to this girl. I saw a strongly-built man, blue eyes, somewhat balding and with blondish hair, brutally raping that girl and then strangling her with his hands, throwing the cadaver into a lake. I perceived by a map that was shown to me [presumably he means during his alleged vision], that this happened in the Algarve, but I couldn’t read the name of the village. I stress that I hadn’t seen any photo of Maddie before. I only knew, from what I’d heard on the radio, that she was 3 years old”.
As we are committed to writing just a factual account of events, we shall refrain from making any comment on the credibility of this account.
E. Marcos Correia’s claim against the Portuguese Post Office
The first time that Marcos Correia came to public notice in connection with Madeleine McCann was when he was pictured in association with a release of balloons on his home island of Madeira in June 2007, in support of the McCanns’ ‘Find Madeleine’ campaign.
The second verifiable event connecting Marcos Corriea to the Madeleine McCann case came during the month of October 2007, when he suddenly sued the Portuguese Post Office. Below, we explain the circumstances under which Marcos Correia claimed to have been forced to sue the Portuguese Post Office [Correios de Portugal - CTT].
However, before reproducing his account, we need first to record the fact that at the trial of his civil action against the Post Office, held on 12 November, he did not succeed. According to the Madeiran Daily News, 13 November 2007, the judge dismissed Marcos Correia’s claim as unsubstantiated and ordered him to pay court costs of 100 euros (around £85). That date, 13 November 2007, is important in the Madeleine McCann case.
F. 13 November 2007: A notable date in the Madeleine McCann case
By a strange co-incidence, this was the same day that an unusual meeting relating to Madeleine’s disappearance was held at the home of Ralph and Sally Eveleigh near Praia da Luz, the village where the McCanns had been staying in May 2007. The Eveleighs are the aunt and uncle of the first suspect in the case, Robert Murat. Also present at this clandestine meeting were Murat’s mother, the McCanns’ main financial backer, Cheshire double-glazing magnate Brian Kennedy, his lawyer Edward Smethurst, and Murat’s lawyer, Francisco Pagarete.
This was certainly a very high-powered meeting, but we can only speculate on what it was really about. The only public pronouncement on the content of this meeting has come from Brian Kennedy, who claimed he just wanted Murat’s help to find Madeleine. It was, to say the least, curious that he chose to seek help from the chief suspect at the time. The presence of two high-powered lawyers at this meeting might also suggest that other issues were discussed.
And that wasn’t the only significant meeting concerning Madeleine McCann’s disappearance that day. Brian Kennedy had earlier that very day met with two Portuguese police officers in the regional town of Portimão.
Also present at that meeting were two men from the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCanns, Método 3. One was the boss, Francisco Marco, the other was Método 3’s lead investigator in the Madeleine McCann case, Antonio Gimenez Raso.
We have written elsewhere about Antonio Gimenez Raso. He joined Método 3 in 2005, having suddenly left his post as head of the Anti-Drugs and Anti-Trafficking Unit of the Catalonian Regional Police, based in Barcelona, in late 2004.
In January 2008, Antonio Gimenez Raso was arrested by Spanish police on suspicion of having colluded with a criminal gang of drug-dealers to steal £25 million of cocaine from a boat in Barcelona harbour. He was convicted in 2011 and now faces an 18-year jail sentence for his crime. We have explored his deep involvement in the Madeleine McCann case in other articles on our website, some of which we have had to remove for fear of libel action.
In 2008, the McCanns turned for help to Kevin Halligen, who had, a few months earlier, founded an intelligence and security company called Oakley International. The McCanns’ ‘Find Madeleine Fund’ paid him £500,000 for his services, although he found absolutely nothing of any interest. In August 2009, he was exposed by an Evening Standard article as having spent much of this £500,000 on a high-living lifestyle in London and New York with his girlfriend, Shirin Trachiotis.
Moreover, he was on the run from the law, wanted for his part of a $2 million fraud in the U.S. He was tracked down two months later to a £700-a-night Oxfordshire hotel, promptly arrested, and taken to Belmarsh top security prison, south London. He stayed there for 20 months, fighting extradition proceedings, and in June last year was extradited to the U.S., where he is now in another jail.
Why the McCann Team should choose as their two top investigators two men who have now both been in jail since 2009 on conviction or suspicion of serious crimes is a matter we have speculated on elsewhere.
G. Marcos Correia loses his claim against the Portuguese Post Office
But our article is about Marcos Correia, and we need to know why he was bringing proceedings against the Portuguese Post Office.
He claimed that on 2 October 2007 (the same day Dr Goncalo Amaral was dismissed from the Madeleine McCann investigation), he sent a Recorded Delivery letter from Madeira to the McCanns in Rothley, allegedly containing details of ‘vital clues and evidence’ in the case. From what he has told us elsewhere, we wonder if this was his alleged information from underworld sources, or his alleged vision, or maybe something else. He says he also notified the Policia Judiciara in Funchal (capital of Madeira) at the same time.
He then claimed that on 17 October, he was notified that the Recorded Delivery letter never arrived to the McCanns, although allegedly the letter was ‘signed for’. Though we do not know for sure, it appears his civil claim against the Portuguese Post Office [CTT] was made shortly after 17 October.
In the report of the court case, held on 12 November, Marcos Correia told the court: “They are controversial matters, because there is no material proof of them, but I assure you there is a high degree of credibility about them. I am fulfilling my duty as a Portuguese citizen to take my ideas to the right place. I took my ideas to the PJ in Funchal, but since they didn’t reply, I took them direct to the McCanns”.
He also alleged that a CTT official had ‘falsely reported to me that the Recorded Delivery letter had been received’.
As the judge threw out his case and ordered him to pay court costs, we leave readers to decide how reasonable is Marcos Correia’s assertion that his claim had ‘a high degree of credibility’, when he had also admitted to the court that ‘there is no material proof of them’.
But on 13 November 2007 he had certainly succeeded in putting his name on the map (at least in a minor way) as associated with the Madeleine McCann case. Perhaps that was his prime aim?
In an interview in late 2008, Marcos Correia gave this version of events leading to his involvement in the search for Madeleine:
“…as this was my first vision in my entire life, there was, on my part, a certain reluctance to divulging it. So I let a few days pass, to see whether or not the little girl showed up. Eventually, I gave this lead to the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), on 9 May, but after that they never contacted me.
“Later on, I received information from a PJ insider in Portimão that the investigation was no longer based on the working hypothesis of abduction [IMPORTANT NOTE: Marcos Correia appears to be referring to the change that came about when Goncalo Amaral and his team began in earnest to suspect the McCanns of involvement in their daughter’s disappearance].
“So it was then that I decided to carry out my own private investigation. I travelled over to continental Portugal, and visited the various lakes and dams of the Algarve, until I reached the Arade Dam, which was the only one that precisely matched the scenery that I had seen in my vision. I decided to contact a senior official at Método 3, the detective agency that had been hired by the McCanns to investigate their daughter’s disappearance. When I mentioned that the dam was located in Silves, I noticed that they were surprised and immediately wanted to speak with me”.
Marcos Correia gives no dates for his visits to all these lakes and dams, nor for his first contact with Método 3. Indications suggest however that Marcos Corriea was probably in contact with Método 3 before the end of October 2007 and, quite possibly, well before that.
H. The crucial meeting between Marcos Correia and Método 3 at the Arade Dam, Portugal, on 10 December 2007
Marcos Correia has spoken of a meeting he had with ‘detectives’ (plural) of Método 3 at the Arade Dam, Portugal, on 10 December 2007. The significance of this is that it was several weeks after this that Marcos Correia came to the world’s attention in a major way, when dramatic pictures emerged of a diving team, apparently hired by Marcos Corriea, searching for Madeleine’s bones in the murky waters of the Arade Dam. Was this proposed search of the dam, which took place several weeks later at the end of January, discussed at the 10 December meeting? It seems that it was.
In his account of this meeting, Marcos Corriea says he told Portuguese Police, in conjunction with Método 3, that Madeleine’s body was probably lying in the Arade Dam, near the tower. He said he had reached this conclusion after carefully considering the information from ‘underworld sources’, who told him that Madeleine’s body was ‘in a murky lake, with a beach, near some trees’.
Of course, as we now know, this account of why he became interested in the Arade Dam was a complete lie. It is doubtful whether the Portuguese Police ever took his claims seriously. Indeed, if we believe Marcos Correia, he contacted the Portuguese Police several times. Each time, it seems, they ignored him.
Later, Correia gave this account of his meeting with the Método 3 detectives:
“Two detectives [from Método 3] met with me and told me that they had already received thousands of leads, but that mine was corroborated by a physical case that they had already established. It involved a Portuguese truck driver, M. Gautier, who only two days after the disappearance of Madeleine, at around 4pm to 5pm, while driving down the IC1 road, near the Arade Dam, saw two cars parked by the road, an Audi A3 that was driven by a man - and a green car (of a very unusual green) that was driven by a blonde woman. The two vehicles were separated by a small metallic fence, and while driving by in his truck, the driver saw what seemed like an inanimate child to him, being passed from one car to another, wrapped up in a blanket”.
Some relevant questions about this meeting between Método 3, and Marcos Corriea, therefore, are these:
1) Did Método 3 - and their paymasters Brian Kennedy, the ‘Find Madeleine Fund’ and the McCanns - believe Correia’s claims about the Arade Dam?
2) Why did Método 3 detectives agree to meet him at the Arada Dam?
3) When did they agree to meet him? – no doubt at least several days before then
4) Did Método 3 pay Marcos Correia expenses to fly over from Madeira to the Arade Dam? (for, as we shall see later, he admits to receiving payments from them)
5) Did Marcos Correia and the Método 3 detectives, either at that meeting, and/or subsequently, plan the Arade Dam search together?
6) Did the McCann Team, the McCanns, Brian Kenney and Clarence Mitchell know in advance about Marcos Correia’s plans to search the Arade Dam the following month?
As we noted in a lengthy article about Brian Kennedy and the McCann Team’s private investigations, which we have also had to withdraw under pressure from Carter-Ruck, for Correia to meet with Método 3 at the Arade Dam on 10 December, he would have to fly 500 miles from the Atlantic island of Madeira. Similarly, the Método 3 representatives at this meeting would have had to travel the same distance from their base in Barcelona. Were the expenses for this significant meeting, involving an expensive and time-consuming journey, approved in advance? If so, by whom?
I. The search by Marcos Correia’s divers of the Arade Dam
On 11 January 2008, according to Mr Correia, “…before the diving in the dam started, Lux magazine published my suspicions in a front page article”.
In late January 2008, the British media reported on what purported to be a genuine, altruistic attempt by Portuguese lawyer Marcos Correia to solve the mystery of what really happened to Madeleine McCann. He said he had used his own money to fund a search for Madeleine’s body in the Arade Dam, believing there was evidence that she had been killed and her body thrown into the dam.
At this time, Marcos Correia told the public that he had been led to the Arada Dam by ‘underworld sources’ - who had informed him that Madeleine had been stolen to order by a gang of ruthless paedophiles who had then raped and killed her and thrown her body into a lake.
We now know that this was a calculated lie. He claimed to have deduced that Arada Dam was the lake referred to by his underworld sources.
A Press Association report on 4 February 2008 gave us the most comprehensive story on Mr Correia’s story of his search of the Arade Dam. The report was tagged ‘exclusive’ - meaning that the news they were breaking had not been revealed to anyone else.
So far as Marcos Correia’s involvement is concerned, the Press Association report told us the following:
• The hunt [for Madeleine’s body] …followed an underworld tip-off to lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia. Marcos, 32, said: “They told me she was thrown into a deserted lake with murky waters. I'm convinced this is the place”
• Good Samaritan Marcos Aragão Correia, 32, is paying for a team of British divers to trawl [the dam]
• They have unearthed a 17ft cord he believes was used to tie up the four-year-old
• Marcos said: “I am convinced this is the place. My sources told me Madeleine was thrown into a deserted lake with murky waters, a beach and lots of trees. I believe this would have been the best place for someone to have dumped the body, based on my investigations. It's not overlooked, has easy access by car and if you threw the body from the tower the water is 55ft deep (17m) there”
• He is funding the dive search - at an estimated £1,200 a day - after he told Portuguese detectives eight weeks ago [10 December 2007 - see above] about the tip-off, but was ignored
• The lawyer said: “I was able to identify the site on 10 December and immediately informed police, who did nothing. I got tired of waiting for them to act on my information, so I decided to act. I will stay here as long as is necessary to try to solve this mystery. I don't care how much the divers cost, what matters is that my conscience will be clear”
• Marcos is convinced the nylon cord they retrieved - of a type used on window blinds - was tragically connected to Madeleine's abduction. He said: “They have found a cord tied in knots down there, right below the tower. I have given it to police. It's logical that if you throw a body in the water, you would tie it to something to weigh it down. There's no other rubbish there. There is no reason for it to be there”
• The underwater unit began their grim task last Thursday. Alan Wilson, who heads the [diving] team based in Lagos, Portugal, said: “You can't see anything down there. Everything is black because there is no light. The divers are searching entirely by touch, feeling in the silt for anything suspicious that shouldn't be there. It's a long, slow process”.
The Arade Dam was close to Silves, a place where a truck driver thought he saw a child being passed over a fence by a woman to a male. There were claims, which were subsequently exposed as having been exaggerated by Método 3, that the woman seen by this truck driver looked like Michaela Walczuk, the girlfriend of Robert Murat. These claims have since been completely discounted.
Marcos Correia’s story about being told by underworld sources about Madeleine being killed and thrown into the dam was, as we have seen admitted by him to be a lie. No British media have told the British public this important fact.
J. Another search of the Arade Dam, starting on 10 March 2008
During all the publicity about the original searches of the Arade Dam in January, the involvement of Método 3 wasn’t mentioned at all.
There was a second - again highly publicised - series of searches of the Arade Dam in March, also by Marcos Correia. This time, the link with Método 3 was made.
One newspaper, for example, reported as follows:
“Barcelona detectives from Método 3 are now also at the site on the Algarve. A team of detectives from the Barcelona firm, Método 3, arrived there yesterday as there were reports that a local reservoir, the Arade, is being dragged again”.
It wasn’t clear why Método 3 detectives needed to be present. Nothing might be found, in which case their time there would have been completely wasted. If something of real interest had turned up in the search, Marcos Correia could easily have summoned the detectives to come and have a look. It raised suspicions that the presence of the Método 3 detectives there was just for show.
Another newspaper wrote: “Lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia has said that he is sure that the body of Madeleine, who vanished from Praia da Luz, on May 3, will be found [at the Arade Dam]…The office [of Mr Aragão Correia] claims that there is ‘a 99% possibility’ that the body will be found there and the Portuguese paper Correio da Manha claims that a child’s white sock has been found at the scene”.
The ‘99% possibility’ was a very bold claim to make. Like a great many of Marcos Correia’s claims, it wasn’t substantiated.
The belief that Madeleine’s body could yet be found in the Arade Dam was strengthened by reports surfacing on 15 March that ‘a bag of small bones’ had been found in the reservoir.
Here are some of the points made in Tom Worden’s report that day in the Daily Mail, which was accompanied by several photographs of divers in the lake and of items apparently being recovered from the lake:
• Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia, who sponsored the dive, says he was acting on an underworld tip-off that Madeleine was murdered and her body thrown in a lake within 48-hours of being snatched.
• Mr Aragão Correia said: “We found two bags, one of which contains some small bones. We don't know at this stage if they are human bones. If they are, they look like they come from a child's fingers. They are too small for an adult. I can't tell you how many we found, because we didn't count them. As soon as we made the find, we handed them over to the Portuguese authorities and the private detectives working for the McCanns” [NOTE: We might pause here to question how a set of bones could be ‘handed over’ to two agencies at once. What is likely is that the Método 3 detectives initially examined the bags of bones and then passed them to the Portuguese police]
• The divers first searched the reservoir five weeks ago and resumed again on Monday morning (10 March).
Marcos Correia had initially claimed that he was a ‘Good Samaritan’, funding searches of the dam, costing £1,200 a day, out of his pocket. Under questioning, he later admitted that Metodo 3 had paid him ‘expenses’ for the searches. It thus appeared that the divers were funded not by Mr Correia, but by Metodo 3, who were in turn funded by the McCanns. His claim to be a Good Samaritan was exposed as yet another of Mr Correia’s lies, but, just as important, it raised these questions:
1) Was Marcos Correia paid more than just ‘expenses’ for his Arade Dam searches? – and
2) Did the McCann Team authorise payment to be made to Mr Correia to carry out those searches?
At the time of the second search of the Arade Dam, one newspaper reported the McCanns as being ‘furious’. It claimed: “Kate and Gerry McCann reacted with fury yesterday after divers began a second search of a reservoir for Madeleine's body. The couple told friends that the search - funded by a Portuguese lawyer who they claim is a ‘fantasist’ seeking publicity - is a distraction from the hunt”.
The report continued: “Marcos Aragão Correia claims crime contacts told him she was killed and left in the lake two days after going missing. Correia spent thousands of pounds on a previous search but found nothing. But a McCann source said: ‘There's no evidence Madeleine is in that reservoir. They believe she is alive and are concentrating on finding her’.”
It is conceded by the McCanns that Método 3 were acting for them from September 2007.
We have also established that Método 3 was in contact with Marcos Correia by 10 December 2007, when their detectives met him at the Arade Dam.
We know that Método 3 paid at least expenses to Marcos Correia for the Arade dam searches.
And we have Marcos Correia’s evidence - very plausible in this case - that he was asked by Método 3 to seek to represent murderess Leonor Cipriano, which he did.
We therefore ask this question, which we think the libel laws of the U.K. entitle us to ask: What did the McCann Team know about Marcos Correia’s heavy involvement in this case? When for example did they know about the 10 December meeting between Mr Correia and Método 3? Did Método 3 tell them they were helping to fund Marcos Correia’s searches of the Arade Dam? These and other similar questions seem to swirl around Marcos Correia’s connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
We might well follow up those two questions by asking another: If Marcos Correia was already working for Método 3, who were in turn working for the McCanns, why did the McCanns describe Correia as ‘a fantasist seeking publicity’? One might think that after a comment like that, Correia would be tempted to sue the McCanns for libel.
Yet shortly afterwards (see next section), Método 3 engaged him on the task of representing Leonor Cipriano, conveniently coinciding with the McCanns’ ongoing campaign against Dr Gonçalo Amaral.
K. Marcos Correia becomes the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano
Shortly after the Arade Dam events we have just described, Marcos Correia became the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano, the evil co-killer of her own daughter. We now know that he did so at a pre-arranged meeting with her at Odemira woman’s prison on 8 April 2008.
We know also that on that same day, Marcos Correia had a discussion with the lady Governor of Odemira Prison, Ana Maria Calado, who no doubt facilitated the visit.
The fact that he was now representing Leonor Cipriano, however, was withheld by her and Marcos Correia from her then lawyers, who were shocked to be told at the opening of the trial of Dr Amaral and his four co-accused detectives, in October, that she had appointed Marcos Correia to represent her over six months previously. Her solicitor had been Joao Grade.
No sooner, then, had Mr Correia had finished his fruitless searches of the Arada Dam, in conjunction with Método 3, than he was busy arranging to represent Leonor Cipriano - also in conjunction with Método 3, as we shall see.
Método 3 was busy at this time. From what we have covered so far, they were clearly very much involved in the various Arade Dam searches. Now they were involved, as we shall see, in getting Marcos Correia to represent murderess Leonor Cipriano.
A newspaper report around this time said: “Marcos Aragão Correia also met the director of Odemira prison, Ana Maria Calado, who confirmed suspicions about Cipriano's treatment, noting that she was ‘shocked about the conditions in which Cipriano entered the prison’.”
On the very same day that Marcos Correia met and talked with Ms Cipriano and the Director of the prison she was incarcerated in, Marcos Correia also submitted a document to the ‘top judicial authorities’ in Portugal at the time (April 2008). That was quite a feat for one day.
Had he perhaps already drafted his report before interviewing the Prison Director and Ms Cipriano? It is the contents of this very document which has resulted in Marcos Correia receiving notice of prosecution on 23 December last year.
It is a document submitted on behalf of the ‘human rights’ organisation set up by Marcos Correia, ACED (see above).
That document, composed no doubt by Marcos Correia himself, was also copied to Amnesty International and to another human righs organisation, StateWatch, who both seem to have swallowed its contents hook, line and sinker, believing that Marcos Correia was telling the truth, and this oblivious of his track record of not telling the truth.
The document was published by StateWatch as their Report No. 29207, and was titled: “Portugal: Report on torture suffered by Leonor Cipriano”. It states: “SOS Prisões and ACED produced a report that they sent to high-ranking Portuguese authorities, with competencies in this field, concerning the allegations of torture suffered in September 2004 by Leonor Cipriano at the hands of the judicial police in their offices in Faro”.
We have reproduced Correia’s report of 8 April 2007 in an Appendix to this article. The links for those who want to go to straight to the source are here:
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“The report concludes that the testimony of Leonor Cipriano and of the Prison Director, as well as other available evidence, are convincing in terms of proving that a crime of torture was committed by officers of the Portuguese judicial police.
“It condemns the use of ‘medieval methods’ to ‘extract confessions at all costs, even if they are false’, as ‘inadmissible’ and as ‘harmful for Portugal's image as an EU member that defends human rights and has a modern legal order’ and, as such, argues that these practices must be punished in ‘exemplary’ fashion, or the Portuguese citizenry will lose faith in the judicial system”.
The report ends with a message from Leonor Cipriano, who, the report claims, ‘was treated as a monster’ as a result of the horrible nature of the crime she was accused and found guilty of committing:
“I hope that my daughter Joana appears, not only to be with her again, but also to show the world that it was the gentlemen officers of the judicial police who tortured me and who are the real monsters”.
Relatório sobre Tortura de Leonor Cipriano, 8.4.2008, ACED - Associação Contra a Exclusão pelo Desenvolvimento, SOS Prisoes - report (pdf)
In the past two days, news reports have emerged concerning the prosecution of Marcos Correia. Here is one of them. Link:
Marcos Aragão Correia
Leonor Cipriano lawyer for defamation trial in February
The trial against Leonor Cipriano's lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia, will open on February 9. The prosecution will claim that he defamed Gonçalo Amaral, Inspector of the Judicial Police (PJ) and Co-ordinator of the investigation into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano in 2004.
The hearings will be held at the Criminal Court at Faro.
Gonçalo Amaral has asked for compensation of three thousand euros [£2,500] against Marcos Aragão Correia and Pedro Antonio Dores, President of the Association Against Exclusion for Development (ACED) [A Human Rights organisation founded by Marcos Correia in 1997 - T.B.]
According to judicial sources, the key issue is a document dated 8th April, 2008, titled "Report on Torture Leonor Cipriano perpetrated by the Judicial Police," which Aragão Correia prepared for ACED and that was distributed by the association.
Goncalo Amaral who was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, in the trial of former detectives and inspectors of the PJ, who were accused of torturing Ms Cipriano, the mother of 8-year old Joana Cipriano.
Goncalo Amaral considered that Marcos Aragão Correia's report was "damaging to his honour and his personal and professional reputation.
On Tuesday [3 January], Sr Aragão Correia said: "Torture has been proved in final court of appeal and Goncalo Amaral was convicted on part of the charge against him, because he lied to the courts, stating that there was no torture, when he proved that he had had knowledge of this torture from the moment that it occurred. So there is no defamation in the report".
Leonor Cipriano's lawyer added that this process of defamation "is a flagrant violation of the principle of res judicata. It is now clear that the prosecutor has made and is maintaining the charge of defamation against me despite judgments which unanimously proved that Leonor Cipriano was tortured [by the detectives]"
Aragão Correia has requested the intervention of the Attorney-General's, Pinto Monteiro, "in order to clarify the inconsistency and the total and absolute illegality of the prosecutors in this recent and horrendous accusation of defamation, which does not exist".
At the trial of former detectives agents and inspectors of the PJ in Faro in 2009, Leonel Marques, Paulo Pereira and Paulo Marques Bom Christopher were acquitted of the crime of torture, while Antonio Nunes Cardoso was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment, suspended for two years, for filing a false report.
Gonçalo Amaral was acquitted of the crime of 'omission of denunciation'.
Subsequently, the Court of Appeal upheld the sentences imposed by Évora.
Joana was reported missing in the village of Figueira, near Portimão, on September 12, 2004. She was eight years old at the time. Her body was never discovered.
Leonor Cipriano and her brother, John Cipriano, were sentenced to 16 years in prison each on charges of murder and concealment of a corpse.
Here is another recent report; link:
Lawyer accused of libel aks for Attorney-General’s intervention
by Lusa Agency Today
Leonor Cipriano's lawyer, who is on trial in February for defamation of Gonçalo Amaral, the PJ inspector and investigator in the case of Joana Cipriano, has asked the Attorney-General's Office to assist him as a matter of great urgency in connection with what he says is a ‘heinous’ accusation against him.
Marcos Aragão Correia, in a letter to Pinto Monteiro, Attorney-General stated: “I write in order to urgently find out their position on the hideous, vile and libellous accusations that prosecutors’ officials have prepared against me”.
In the letter, which the Lusa Agency Lusa has seen, the advocate points out that the torture of Leonor Cipriano whilst in police custory was ‘clearly and unanimously proven, in the Jury Court, and was later confirmed in its entirety, with no further possibility of appeal, by the Court at Évora.
“This resulted in the conviction of two individuals from the Judicial Police (PJ), which includes Gonçalo Amaral de Sousa, who was sentenced to 18 months, suspended for the same period, for ‘making false statements’
His letter continued: “Gonçalo Amaral had said that Leonor Cipriano had fallen down the stairs when it was proved to the court that he knew that Leanor had been brutally tortured by detectives under his control”.
Marcos Aragão Correia said he received the letter on 23 December. It accused him and a University Professor, Antonio Perdo Dores, of the crime of defamation against Gonçalo Amaral de Sousa.
Marcos Aragão Correia’s letter urged: “You should not admit this case or tolerate such proceedings in any way. After all, the previous court found that Ms Cipriano had been tortured, yet your officials, under the leadership of Your Excellency, are allowing a claim of defamamtion against me merely for having said exactly what the courts have already proved”.
In Marcos Correia’s rant to Amnesty International and StateWatch, he also mentions alleged persecution of “A university teacher, President of a Portuguese association (ACED) that has divulged the report…”
This would appear to be a reference to Antonio Pedro Dores, who made a separate complaint, alleging persecution by the prison service, to StateWatch, reference and link complaint No. 29244:
The Statewatch summary of this complaint states:
‘Portugal: Head of observatory on prisons charged with ‘offending’ prison guard service’: Statewatch News Online, April 2008
“Antonio Pedro Dores, sociologist and Professor at Lisbon University and Director of the association ACED (Associação Contra a Exclusão pelo Desenvolvimento), which was established in 1997 and runs an observatory on prisons, faces charges of ‘offending a collective person, body or service’ levelled at him by the SNCGP (Sindicato Nacional do Corpo da Guarda Prisional, national trade union of the body of prison guards). ACED is a member of the Coordenadora para la prevención de la tortura network to prevent torture and of the European Civil Liberties Network”.
This complaint does not seem to be connected in any way with Goncalo Amaral’s complaint against Marcos Correia in respect of the controversial report Correia despatched to the Portuguese judicial authorities on 8 April 2008.
L. The case brought by Dr Goncalo Amaral against Marcos Corriea in April 2008: what we wrote two years ago
We published a lengthy, 55-page, in-depth article on Marcos Correia on our website dated 7 April 2010. We had to take it down in August 2011 in the face of threats from the McCanns’ lawyers, Carter-Ruck.
In that article, we wrote the following about a legal action by Goncalo Amaral against Mr Correia:
“It is a little-known fact that back in April 2008, Gonçalo Amaral began a lawsuit against Marcos Aragão Correia, claiming he had been defamed and vilified by him.
“Over a year later, on 16 June 2009, Gonçalo Amaral filed an addendum to his original lawsuit. As was reported at the time, for some strange reason the Minsteria Publico (the ‘Public Ministry’, or what we would call the Ministry of Justice) had by that time delayed the hearing of Mr Amaral’s complaint for 15 months, and at the time of writing (April 2010), his case has still not been heard, two years later. Yet the same Ministeria Publico was apparently able to expedite the hearing of the case against Mr Amaral brought by convicted murderess and serial liar Leonor Cipriano. Here, then, is another very powerful indicator that the persecution of Gonçalo Amaral in the courts has been politically motivated”.
It is this very action, then, begun in April 2008, that seems now to have surfaced in the prosecutor’s letter to Marcos Correia, and which has so upset him. It would seem that Dr Amaral was accusing Mr Correia of having lied and defamed him in the April 2008 report that we quoted above. The charitable explanation for this extraordinary delay of nearly four years in bringing this matter to court may be that the Portuguese judicial and police authorities have been faced with a complex investigation into Dr Amaral’s claims about Mr Correia’s report - and have only just now established that it looks as though Mr Correia may have lied.
M. More on the relationship between Marcos Correia and Metodo 3
The following facts must be mentioned.
Método 3 were commissioned and employed by the McCanns and by the ‘Find Madeleine Fund’, to which the British public had contributed large sums of money.
The McCanns’ private investigations as a whole have been directed, and perhaps part funded, by Cheshire-based businessman, Brian Kennedy.
It is therefore reasonable to enquire as to whether Método 3’s involvement with the Arade Dam search, and Marcos Correia’s engagement to act as Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, were both sanctioned by the McCann Team.
Towards the end of 2008, there arose a dispute between Método 3 and Marcos Correia over how Mr Correia came to be involved in representing Leonor Cipriano.
When it emerged in October 2008 that Marcos Correia was to represent Leonor Cipriano against Gonçalo Amaral, Método 3 denied that they had any involvement in arranging this. That was flatly contradicted by Marcos Correia.
After the trial got under way, and during its early days, Marcos Correia said on the record that Método 3 themselves, acting on behalf of the McCanns, had asked him to get involved in the Joana Cipriano case. He went on to claim that the McCanns, via Método 3, had “ordered him to do an investigation” into allegations regarding the accusations against Gonçalo Amaral and his men by Leonor Cipriano. Whilst Marcos Correia has not always told the truth, on this point, the evidence suggests he was correct in his claims.
At the same time, Marcos Correia - who, it will be remembered, was described as a humble ‘good Samaritan’ in article about him privately funding the search in the Arade Dam - claimed on oath that no-one was currently paying him to bring the case against Amaral and his fellow-detectives.
Dealing with suspicions that, in agreeing to defend Leonor Cipriano, he was being paid by someone who could be very interested in ensuring that Gonçalo Amaral should be convicted of a crime, or at least that his reputation should be damaged (because of his public comments about Madeleine probably having died in Apartment 5A in Praia da Luz), he retorted to the court: “I don't get paid in pounds or in euros. I am here for principles, and my objective is to set free Leonor Cipriano…I am doing this out of the goodness of my own heart and because I believe in the cause”.
One blogger recently queried this, writing:
“I hope a judge will ask Marcos Correia how and in what circumstances he became Leonor Cipriani’s lawyer. After all, she already had Joao Grade as her lawyer, apparently being paid for by the taxpayer. Just who contacted who to arrange for Marcos Correia to represent her? I don't believe that Leonor Cipriano was able to find another lawyer while inside the prison. Anyway, what motivates someone to be the lawyer of someone already convicted by a court of law? And of course, there’s one key question, who was paying him? Leonor had no money to pay Joao Grade. If she paid Marcos Correia, where did the money come from? I don't believe he was paid by the Portuguese taxpayer under the legal aid scheme. Nor do I believe for one moment that he conducts this legal circus for no payment. Did he end up, for example, being paid out of the ‘Find Madeleine Fund’, from all those public donations?”
Marcos Correia claimed once again that he had gone to the Algarve in search of Madeleine’s body ‘at his own expense’. He told the court on oath: “Método 3 asked me to try to get involved in the Joana [Cipriano] case to obtain statements from Leonor and her brother to try to understand if she was tortured by the police, nothing else”.
In another account he gave, Mr Correia said that Método 3 had asked him to become involved in representing Leonor Cipriano; on the other occasion he said Método 3 had ordered him. It makes little difference. Either way, Mr Correia was making it clear that he had gone to see Leonor Cipriano in prison in April 2008 on the instructions of Método 3.
The revelation that Marcos Correia was, in some senses at least, acting on behalf of Método 3, and therefore, in turn, on behalf of the McCanns, was first publicised in the Portuguese newspaper, Correio da Manhã. Typically, the British media avoided this story altogether. By this time, the British mainstream media had been intimidated into silence by the High Court endorsing libel case agreements worth over £2 million to the McCanns, the McCanns’ ‘Tapas 9’ friends, Robert Murat, his girlfriend Michaela Walczuk, and his friend Sergei Malinka.
According to Correio da Manhã, Método 3 denied any connection whatsoever to the lawyer, and, further, denied making him any payments.
But, as Correio da Manhã was understandably quick to point out to their readers, Método 3’s denial was simply not credible. They told their readers:
“Aragão Correia has already admitted that he received money from Método 3 to pay his ‘expenses’ when he made the searches to find Madeleine's corpse in the reservoir”.
Before we leave the subject of the relationship between Marcos Correia and Método 3, the story of how Método 3 is supposed to have ‘accredited’ Correia provides a little bit of light entertainment in what is otherwise the tragic story of a 3-yeasr-old girl who was reported missing. Here is Mr Correia’s own account of this:
“Método 3 submitted me to a test in order to prove beyond all doubt whether or not my mediumistic abilities and my accounts were credible. They were fed up with following false leads. The fact is that the test gave totally positive results, according to what was confirmed to me personally by the Director of Método 3 in Barcelona himself. Following my mediumistic abilities passing Método 3’s stringent tests, Método 3 offered full support to my research. But given the fact that Maddie’s parents preferred to spend the decreasing money from the ‘Find Madeleine Fund’ mainly following leads based on the belief that their daughter was still alive, they dismissed the possibility of paying professional divers to search the dam. So I offered myself to pay for the first phase of the searches in the dam, having later received much support, including financial support, from mediums and spiritualists who believed in and corroborated my theory”.
That is what he said. We will make no comment on it, other than to point out that, as a result of the remarkable account above, we now have three conflicting accounts from Marcos Correia as to who paid for the Arade Dam searches:
First - that he paid for them out of his own pocket
Second - that Metodo 3 paid his expenses
Third - that mediums and spiritualists gave donations for the search.
N. The trial of Dr Goncalo Amaral
It was on 8 April 2008, barely fresh from his second search of the Arade Dam, that Marcos Correia - clearly by previous arrangement - strolled into Odemira Women’s Prison, sat down to have a cosy chat with the Prison Director, and then popped down to see his new client, Leonor Cipriano.
The trial of Goncalo Amaral on allegations of filing a false report to cover the alleged torture of Leonor Cipriano by his colleagues began on 21 October 2008.
Remarkably, the trial took 7 months to conclude, finally finishing with a verdict on May 2009.
The trial was subject to at least five adjournments, mostly lasting around a month, caused by various procedural problems and by new applications of one kind or another, mostly made by Marcos Correia.
There were some notable events during the trial of Gonçalo Amaral.
In November 2008, Marcos Correia was forced to admit to a proposed deal with lawyers in the case to ‘crucify Gonçalo Amaral’. He told Dr Amaral’s defence lawyer that he would arrange for all the other four detectives to get only suspended sentences for a more minor offence, if they were all prepared to say that it was Amaral who ordered the torture and that he was there when it happened. The deal was of course rejected by the four officers who were not involved in any such torture.
Later in November, Marcos Correia offensively referred in court to Dr Amaral’s defence lawyer, Mr Cabrita, as ‘a goat’ [‘cabrita’ is the Portuguese for goat].
On 21 January 2009, Marcos Correia’s licence to practise as a lawyer/advocate was suspended by the Madeira Bar Association [the Madeira Lawyers’ Order].
On 22 January 2009, he tried to continue representing Leonor Cipriano in court in Faro. The trial judge ordered him to cease representing her. Marcos Correia argued with the judge, protested and refused to leave the court. The judge ordered him to leave the court, using the following words: “I have told you to leave the court, Mr Aragão Correia. There are several exits to this court building. Now find one of them and leave this court immediately”. He did so, and the trial of Dr Amaral and his four colleagues was suspended once again, whilst arrangements were made for Leonor Cipriano to be represented by another lawyer.
This proved not to be necessary. It seems that the suspension was lifted, thanks to the intervention and help of the Head of the Portuguese Lawyer’s Order, Marinho Pinto. Pinto had previoulsy gone on record to publicly support the McCanns’ claim that Madeleine had been abducted, and had criticised the Portuguese police investigation of Madeleine’s disappearance. He intervenend, apparently successfully, to ask the Madeira Bar Association to revoke its suspension of Mr Correia, and intervened by contacting the trial judge demanding that Marcos Correia should be allowed to continue to represent Ms Cipriano. The upshot of all this, whatever happened behind the scenes, was that Marcos Correia was therefore once again free to represent Ms Cipriano.
The eventual outcome of the trial was that all the claims of torture were thrown out, but Goncalo Amaral and one of his co-accused (António Cardoso) were found guilty of filing a false report about certain injuries that Cipriano had claimed were inflicted on her by Goncalo Amaral’s men. Amaral received an 18-month suspended prison sentence for this crime, after what many felt was in the nature of a ‘political’ show trial.
To Marcos Correia, it mattered not that his elaborate attempts, based on the hugely contradictory - and often manifestly false - statements of his client Leonor Cipriano, to prove that she had been tortured by three police officers, had completely failed. It was evident that what mattered was that Goncalo Amaral now had a criminal conviction against his name. No wonder he exulted at the conclusion of the trial: ‘The target was hit’.
O. February 2008: ‘Metodo 3 detective arrested in connection with multi-million drugs theft’
On 24 February 2008, a very significant report appeared in the British press. It concerned senior Metodo 3 detective, Antonio Gimenez Raso, referred to in the British press as ‘Antonio Jimenez’. The significance of this is that he was Metodo 3’s lead investigator. In that capacity Antonio Gimenez Raso:
• met with Brian Kennedy, the Cheshire businessman funding the search, to discuss possible ‘sightings’ of Madeleine
• met with Brian Kennedy and Portuguese police in Portimao on 13 November 2007
• met with lawyer Marcos Correia at the Arade Dam on 10 December 2007, and no doubt on other occasions as well.
Here is the first part of that press report:
“A retired policeman linked to the private detective agency hired to find Madeleine McCann has been arrested on suspicion of helping criminals who stole £25 million of cocaine.
“Antonio Jimenez, who has been linked to Método 3, the Spanish detective agency hired by the McCann family to find their missing daughter, was last night remanded by a judge investigating alleged police corruption and the theft in 2005 of 1,100 lb [about half a ton] of cocaine from a Barcelona dockyard.
“The arrest comes amid mounting scepticism about the role of Metodo 3 in the search for Madeleine, who disappeared on May 3 last year while on holiday with her family in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
“Metodo 3, whose contract with Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry expires next month and has yet to be renewed, was criticised last year when Francisco Marco, its managing director, spoke of finding the four-year-old by Christmas.
“It has also emerged that, in 1995, five senior members of the agency were arrested in a phone-tapping case. They were never charged, however, and an investigating judge threw out the case, condemning police entrapment.
“Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the McCanns, sought to distance Jimenez from Metodo 3. He said: ‘He is nothing to do with us. He collaborated with Metodo 3 on a project, but that was two years before the company was hired to find Madeleine. We still have faith in the work of Metodo 3’.”
At the same time, Mr Francisco Marco, boss of Método 3, came up with another way of distancing Antonio Gimenez Raso from Método 3, denying apparently well-sourced Spanish television reports that Gimenez Raso, 53, had worked for Metodo 3 for three years. He insisted that Gimenez Raso was, until three weeks previously, a business partner of his mother, Maria Fernandez Lado, who founded Método 3. He said Gimenez Raso had been involved with a separate company. Spanish records, however, reportedly showed that this business had the same listed address as Método 3.
Clarence Mitchell claimed he once worked for Método 3, but hadn’t done for two years. Franciscio Marco said he was only connected to Gimenenz Raso via his mother’s business. But there can be no denying that Brian Kennedy, who was running the McCann Team investigation and had engaged Método 3, was at a meeting with his Metodo 3 men and Portuguese police officers in Portimao on 13 November 2007; records released by the Portuguese Police in August 2008 confirm this meeting, and who was there. Moreover, Marcos Corriea had met with Método 3 and apparently, on the McCanns’ behalf, had been engaged to prosecute Goncalo Amaral and his detective colleagues.
We must leave readers to judge the credibiliy of the statements made by Clarence Mitchell and Francisco Marco in their attempts to distance themselves from Antonio Gimenez Raso.
The relevant facts about Antonio Gimenez Raso are as follows:
• He was in 2004 the Head of the Catalonian Anti-Drugs and Anti-Trafficking Department of the Catalonian Regional Police Force, based in Barcelona
• He either resigned or was asked to resign from that post at the end of 2004
• Whilst he was working as one of Spain’s top police officers, he was corruptly working with a criminal gang of drug-dealers and helped themn to steal £25 million of cocaine from Barcelona harbour, an offence for which he was arrested in 2008, subsequenty convicted, and now faces 18 years in jail
• In 2005 he went to work for Método 3, a Spanish detective agency with a controversial reputation
• In 2007 the boss of Método 3 made him the lead investigator in the Madeleine McCann case. He played a promimnent role in the McCann Team’s private investiagtions as this and some of our other articles have revealed
• In February 2008 he was arrested for his crimes whilst a top police officer, thrown into jail, and now faces an 18-year jail sentence.
P. Marcos Correia’s actions since getting Goncalo Amaral convicted in May 2009 of the criminal offence of filing a false report
On 8 June 2009, he launched an out-of-time appeal by Leonor Cipriano against her conviction for murdering her daugher Joana.
Also in June 2009, Dr Amaral filed the following extraordinary supplementary memorandum in support of his earlier claim against Marcos Correia:
JUDICIAL COURT OF FARO - PUBLIC MINISTRY SERVICES
Process 87/08.8JAFAR - 1ST SECTION
Gonçalo Amaral, the offended party and applicant with the capacity to constitute himself as an ‘Assistant’, and who is better identified in the files, comes forward to APPEND the following material to the criminal complaint that was presented against arguido Marcos Aragão Corriea, exercising his rights of petition and of probative intervention:
A. The arguido [Marcos Aragão Corriea] has publicly displayed what seems to be a manifest lack of balance of pathological origin, including episodes of social irresponsibility, which militates in favour of his eventual unfitness to plead and impedes him, if that scenario is confirmed, from being the defendant in any accusation against him.
B. Taking into account that, under the provision of law, ‘public and notorious facts’ in the public domain may also constitute valid evidence, it is possible to collect from the press, in a brief search through the internet, the following probative material, which is now presented as part of the present addendum:
1. DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS, 22 Jun 2007: Madeira. Fifty children will launch yellow balloons with a photo of little Madeleine, who disappeared fifty days ago today. Marcos Aragão Correia, one of the organisers, explains why he considers it to be important for Madeira to join this homage. (Cfr. Document No. 1)
2. SOL, 13 Nov 2007: A lawyer from Madeira, Marcos Aragão Correia, has judicially prosecuted the Portuguese postal service for failing to personally deliver a registered letter that was addressed to the McCann couple, in which he indicated leads that he considers could assist the investigation, and which he had already revealed to the Polícia Judiciária in Funchal. “As I didn’t get any feedback from the PJ”, he explains, “I decided to communicate them directly to the child’s parents, in a letter.” (Cfr. document No. 2)
3. SOL, 13 Nov 2007: Lawsuit against the Portuguese postal service. The judge has ruled that the litigation that had been filed by the lawyer [Marcos Aragão Correia] seeking the prosecution of the Portuguese postal service is unfounded, and condemns him to pay a judicial fee of approximately 100 euros, and has postponed the trial sine die. (Cfr. document No. 3)
4. BARLAVENTO, 7 Feb 2008: Lawyer from Madeira claims to know everything. A lawyer from Madeira is the most recent star in the search for Madeleine. Marcos Aragão Correia, who went as far as filing a lawsuit against the Portuguese postal service, has headed a search operation with divers at the reservoir, on Saturday [2 February 2008]. He only found a shutter strap. (Cfr. document No. 4)
5. IOL.DIÁRIO, 12 Mar 2008: Lawyer from Madeira reinforces searches at the Arade Dam. Marcos Aragão Correia is a lawyer, and for the second time within only a few months, he is heading searches at the Arade Dam, in Silves. The searches have started again this Monday and strange objects have been found already: several ropes, a sheet of plastic and a child’s sock. (Cfr. document No. 5)
6. DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS, 15 Mar 2008: Upon conclusion of the searches, Marcos Aragão Correia said his conscience was at peace. “I don’t leave disillusioned, because I’ve done what I could on the basis of information that I consider to be credible.” (Cfr. document No. 6)
7. PORTUGAL DIÁRIO, 12 Mar 2008: And what moves Aragão Correia? The lawyer says that he has received ‘credible leads’ concerning what happened to Maddie. “For the time being, we can’t publicly reveal the leads and who offered them, due to security concerns.” (Cfr. document No. 7)
8. DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS, 13 Mar 2008: Lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia is more and more convinced than ever of the relationship between the possible death of Maddie with that of Mari Luz, from Huelva, whose body was found. “There are no doubts left - he says - that the criminal abducted Madeleine and fled to Spain, where he abducted another girl, Mari Luz.” (Cfr. document No. 9)
9. BARLAVENTO, 17 Oct 2008: Marcos Aragão Correia, lawyer to Leonor Cipriano, is going to request police protection. “We’ve been targeted by threats”, he said, mentioning that one of the arguidos in the process compared him to his dog, saying that when one is playing at an inappropriate time, one should receive a correctional slap on one’s back.” (Cfr. document No. 11)
10. CAMARADECOMUNS.BLOGS.SAPO.PT, 4 Dec 2008: Today, 4 December, I read what I never thought would be possible to read about the Maddie and Joana cases. The illustrious lawyer Dr Marcos Aragão Correia believes that there is an intervention by British secret services and secret societies, namely the ‘Skull and Bones Society’, to which he states that president George Bush belongs, whose purpose it is to create a climate of insecurity to promote the implementation of chips in children. (Cfr. Document No. 10)
11. SOL, 15 Dec 2008: Marcos Aragão Correia states that he is a medium and has had ‘visions’ of Maddie and Joana, asserting that he saw the body of the little English girl at the Arade Dam. Searches were carried out in the area, but revealed to be fruitless. “In that case I committed a serious mistake. I revealed my plans with anticipation and the person responsible for Maddie’s death had time to go there and remove the body.” (Cfr. document No. 8)
12. SOL, 22 Jan 2009: Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer is thrown out of court. Before the trial session started, he was notified of the court’s decision. He was suspended from practising by the Lawyers’ Order. But 15 minutes later, he returned to the court room saying that ‘the situation was already solved’. The judge, however, threw him out of the room: “Get yourself out of here”, he ordered. (Cfr. document No. 12)
13. IOL.DIÁRIO, 22 Jan 2009: Marcos Aragão Correia announced that he is going to request the annulment of today’s audience. “I’m filing a complaint with the Magistrates’ Superior Counsel, against the president of the judge’s panel.” (Cfr. document No. 13)
14. DIÁRIO DIGITAL, 22 Jan 2009: Marcos Aragão Correia claims that judge Henrique Pavão is biased. Backing up his claim, the lawyer said that the magistrate had refused no fewer than 40 separate requests from the ‘Assistant’. (Cfr. document No. 14)
15. BARLAVENTO, 20 Feb 2009: Today, presiding judge Henrique Pavão held that the request made by Aragão Correia the previous month should not have been presented at the court of Faro, but, instead, at the Supreme Court of superior hierarchy. But for reasons of efficient administration, the judge had decided on his own authority to send Aragão’s request to the Appeals Court of Évora.” (Cfr. document No. 15)
16. BARLAVENTO, 21 Mar 2009: Appeals Court of Évora denies Marcos Aragão Correia’s motion to removal the presiding judge in the case. (Cfr. document No. 16)
17. DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS, 23 Apr 2009: Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia, accuses the judge of ‘censorship’. Today he presented yet another complaint about the judge to the Magistrates’ Superior Counsel. He claimed that the judge, Henrique Pavão, had - without any legally acceptable justification - abruptly, and on six occasions, interrupted his allegations, causing him ‘manifest disturbance’. (Cfr. document No. 17)
18. SOL, 28 Jan 2009: Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia asked the GNR police today to search at ‘an abandoned house up in the hills of Figueira’, where Joana’s mother confessed that her brother João Cipriano had buried the little girl’s body. (Cfr. document No. 18)
19. DIÁRIO DE NOTÍCIAS, 08 Jun 2009: Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia, says that she must be acquitted. She was condemned to 16 years in prison over the joint murder of Joana. The lawyer claimed that he ‘bluffed’ with João Cipriano in order to convince him to sign a confession in which he stated that he tried to sell the little girl. Aragão Correia told Leonor’s sister that he had heard that a convict who had been condemned to over 20 years in prison for homicide, was about to be transferred to Carregueira prison with the purpose of murdering João Cipriano him. (Cfr. document N. 19).
C. If he weren’t the victim of a serious pathology, Marcos Aragão Correia would certainly be determined to be guilty of breaching the public peace and the mental health of the people with his erratic claims of ‘psychic visions’ of missing children, extraterrestrial informants, searches in reservoirs, warnings about the mass implementation of chips in children and teenagers, not forgetting his deliberately comparing himself with a dog in a court of law and thus publicly bringing disgrace on the legal profession. He has also made an endless succession of requests that are rejected by judges due to their absurdity, he has been called to order many times by the judge, he has interrupted the judge on frequent occasions and has had on one occasion to be expelled from the precincts of the court.
D. Two questions arise in view of the foregoing evidence, which suggest, to those who are affected by his conduct, that there has been a history of insanity over a short period of time:
1st - The question of the lack of capability of Marcos Aragão Correia, or rather the question of the increasing probability that the subject suffered, during the practice of the facts under investigation, from a psychiatric illness (permanent or temporary) that may have rendered him incapable of evaluating the unlawfulness of his behaviour and of determining whether he is capable of practising law himself. If confirmed, this would prevent the Public Ministry from accepting any accusation against him, given the fact that the probative indications will then not result in a reasonable probability of him being convicted in any trial.
2nd - The question of whether Marcos Aragão Correia constitutes a danger to the population at large and to the efficient administration of justice. If that is confirmed, the court may insist that he attend for regular psychiatric treatment or, in the last resort, commit him for a period to an institution such as a psychiatric hospital.
E. Apart from what is established in our Mental Health Law, the Penal Code itself clearly determines that anyone who practises a typical kind of illicit action and is considered not to be imputable, shall be committed for cure, treatment or to a place of safety, whenever there is a sustained reason to believe that he may commit further acts of the same kind. And Marcos Aragão Correia does, indeed, seem to constitute a permanent danger to himself and to others.
F. The following actions are considered to be relevant and pertinent to the court being able to make a correct decision in this cause, as well as being apparently necessary for the treatment of arguido Marcos Aragão Correia. These are simple procedures which can be taken without prejudicing the outcome of the trial:
a) The referral by the court of Marcos Aragão Correia for a psychiatric examination, which will evaluate the state of his psychiatric health including any pathological causes that may raise the issue of his lack of capability and the consequent impossibility of convicting him if any offence, and
b) The referral by the court of Marcos Aragão Correia for an examination of the arguido’s personality, which may evaluate his psychological characteristics independently of any pathological causes, in order to determine his personality and level of danger he poses to others. This possible danger may be alleviated through regular psychiatric treatment or, as a last resort, committing him for a period to an institution such as a psychiatric hospital.
Thus Your Excellency is requested to integrate the present ADDENDUM and the appended documents with the original file in this case, as well as to put mechanisms into action, in the sense of ensuring that competent examinations by psychiatric experts as outlined above are carried out.
APPENDED: Addendum and 19 accompanying documents.
Filed by the offended, with the ability to constitute himself in the capacity of an ‘Assistant’:
In July 2009, just a month after launching this belated appeal, Marcos Correia launched yet another action against Gonçalo Amaral. This time it was to submit a complaint by Leonor Cipriano’s former partner, António Leandro David da Silva, often described as little Joana Cipriano’s ‘stepfather’. Leandro da Silva now accused Gonçalo Amaral of assault at the Portuguese Police regional headquarters at Faro on 13 October 2004. But his claim of assault was not presented until 4¾ years later, in July 2009. He asked for a cool 500,000 euros compensation (around £425,000).
On 2 October 2009, Gonçalo Amaral held a 50th birthday party. All was going well until it was interrupted, late on, by Marcos Correia. Here is an eyewitness account of this event, published on Joana Morais’ blog:
“The party was interrupted between 11.30pm and 12.00 midnight when Marcos Correia turned up, in the company of the local PSP police patrol. The PSP and Mr Correia claimed that Mr Correia had been the victim of an attempted assault on him. The eyewitness said:
“The incident occurred after dinner, just outside the restaurant, which was in Portimão’s riverfront area. There had been a huge cake, dessert and champagne. The Mayor of Portimão, Manuel da Luz, and a few members of his staff, joined the party. At 11.30pm, there were some fireworks, ‘Happy Birthday’ was sung to Gonçalo Amaral and champagne bottles were popped. Then, shortly after the fireworks, a car approached and parked opposite the entrance to the restaurant. The party inside was in full swing. Inside the car, looking towards the restaurant, was Marcos Correia. The lawyer sat in the car with two other occupants, parked in front of the restaurant where the party took place, in Portimão’s riverfront area.
“He made sure that his presence was noticed by those partying at the restaurant. At the same time, Marcos Correia made an obscene gesture to the guests, some of whom were on the street proposing a toast to Mr Amaral after the fireworks. A witness - who was later identified by the Public Security Police (PSP - the Portuguese regional police) - later admitted to having made a threat of some kind to Correia after seeing him make the obscene gesture. After the threat, the lawyer, who was driving the vehicle, took off in a hurry with his tyres screeching. He returned, minutes later accompanied by a PSP patrol.
The eyewitness continued: “There were police all over the place (PSP, Public Security Police) because Marcos Correia had called in the police. He claimed he had been threatened and assaulted by several party guests. The whole scene was witnessed by dozens of people, including a reporter from Correio da Manhã and the Mayor. It soon became clear to the PSP officers, however, that Aragão Correia had not been assaulted. Once the officers were satisfied about this, they left, about 15 minutes later.
Correio da Manhã reported: “At the moment when Gonçalo Amaral and Paulo Pereira Cristóvão approached the PSP officers in the middle of the street, Aragão Correia fled running. Correio da Manhã attempted to contact him yesterday, but he had his mobile ’phone disconnected. Marcos Correia’s obscene gestures were perhaps trying to provoke a violent reaction from those attending the birthday party”.
On 18 March 2010 the Correia da Manhã newspaper reported that the Faro Court dismissed all the accusations of António Leandro David da Silva and Marcos Correia against Gonçalo Amaral.
On 7 April 2010, we published our 55-page article about Marcos Correia.
On 11 April 2010, Marcos Correia e-mailed us and threatened to sue us for libel.
On 13 April 2010 we replied denying there was any libel in our article, but offering Marcos Correia the opportunity to correct any statement within our article that he could prove to be false. We never heard from him again.
Later in 2010, Marcos Correia joined one of the very few McCann-supporting forums on the internet, titled:
It is run by a character known on the internet as ‘Rosiepops’, who regularly abuses anyone who queries the McCanns’ claim that Madeleine was abducted. S/he has used many blatant lies and libels to do so. S/he also claims to be the author of a book, titled: ‘The Madeleine Investigation: Incompetence or Corruption?’ which consists prominently of a long rant against Mr Amaral - and against Tony Bennett, Secretary of The Madeleine Foundation, for having the audacity to write our now-banned book: “What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann? - 60 Reasons which suggest she was not abducted”. Some of the photographs and documents in Rosiepops’ ‘Madeleine Investigation’ book appear to have come from Mr Marcos Correia himself. On Rosiepops’ forum, he openly posts in the username: ‘Leonor Lawyer’.
Published by The Madeleine Foundation, 5 January 2012
The StateWatch report on Marcos Correia’s allegations - in full
Statewatch article: RefNo #29207
Portugal: Report on torture suffered by Leonor Cipriano
Statewatch News Online, May 2008
SOS Prisões and ACED produced a report that they sent to high-ranking Portuguese authorities with competencies in this field concerning the allegations of torture suffered in September 2004 by Leonor Cipriano at the hands of the judicial police in their offices in Faro. She is currently serving a 16-year and eight-month prison sentence in Odemira women's prison, after she was found guilty of killing her eight-year-old daughter Joana, who she reported as having disappeared. Cipriano maintains her innocence and told the author of the report, lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia, who visited her in prison on 8 April 2008, that there was no evidence to prove the allegations, before describing how she was mistreated for two days in order to induce her to sign a confession of this horrendous crime, which she eventually did. Correia also met the director of Odemira prison, Ana Maria Calado, who confirmed suspicions about Cipriano's treatment, noting that she was ‘shocked about the conditions in which Cipriano entered the prison’. ACED argues that it does not have the means to confirm what the situation in terms of the practice of torture by the police in Portugal may be, but calls on the state to comply with its international obligations.
Leonor Cipriano's account
After accepting to meet Correia, Cipriano denied having played any part in the death of her daughter Joana, who disappeared on the evening of 12 September 2004 after she went out to buy some groceries for her mother in a nearby shop in Figueira, near Portimão, as she often did. Upon seeing that her daughter was taking longer than expected, she went to the shop and was told that Joana had been there, but had already left with a few groceries, after which the Guarda Nacional Republicana was called. On 25 September, Leonor Cipriano was placed in preventive detention in Odemira prison, and was taken by judicial police officers to their offices in Faro on the next day. She was upset by the allegations made against her (that she had killed Joana, cut her up and fed her remains to pigs), which she rejected. Meanwhile, and in the absence of any evidence, the five officers involved became aggressive, shouted and unsuccessfully tried to convince her to confess, after which the torture began. Two glass ashtrays were placed on the floor, and Leonor was forced to kneel on them, without being allowed to get up until she confessed. She showed Correia the scars on her knees, still visible four years later. She was then sat on a chair with a green plastic shopping bag over her head, and officers started striking her on the head with a cardboard tube, causing her haemorrhages resulting in blood descending to her eyes, and her hands were struck when she tried to take the bag off her head. She was told that she would not get out of there until she confessed, and was made to stand, sometimes with the bag on her head and sometimes without it, and punched and kicked on the side of her ribs, repeatedly.
The torture lasted for two days, after which she signed a confession, and she was then returned to prison, where her serious conditions led to her being taken to Odemira health centre. She was told by judicial police officers to tell the doctor that she had thrown herself down a flight of stairs in the Faro judicial police headquarters in a suicide attempt, threatening that if she spoke of any aggression, she would be interrogated again and would not survive. Cipriano said she did as they demanded in their presence, but told the prison officers and director of the prison what had happened once they left. The director ordered photographs to be taken of her, and for a legal-medical report to be drawn up as a result of her poor conditions. Leonor Cipriano's brother João was also reportedly tortured and found guilty of the murder, although the prison to which he was taken did not run the same checks to determine whether he had been subjected to an aggression. After they were both found guilty, he wrote to his sister to apologise for the lies he had been forced to tell about her. When Leonor was invited to identify her aggressors by an investigating magistrate in Évora in 2006, she was only able to identify one official who was present and did nothing to prevent the abuses, possibly because she had had a bag over her head for long periods, or due to the time that had passed, or because not all her torturers were among the six officers placed before her.
The prison director
Correia then spoke to Odemira prison director Ana Maria Calado, who confirmed Leonor Cipriano's account, noting how shocked she was about her conditions, with black marks, haematomae and bruising in her face, mainly around her eyes, her head and ribs, mainly on her sides. She assured that the physical marks clearly indicated a violent aggression and not a fall down some stairs, something the legal-medical report also confirmed. She noted that Cipriano's conditions worsened a week after she was tortured, as the blood that had gathered at the height of her brows was so much that it ended up falling over her eyes, leaving her practically blind for almost a month, and the director regrets not having ordered photographs of this period to be taken. She also said that relations between Cipriano and the prison guards and other prisoners were good, and that she did not believe that she had attempted suicide.
Calado expressed her surprise for a number of facts: a) that the judicial police did not take Cipriano to a health centre in Faro to certify that she had fallen down some stairs; b) that the day of her interrogation was chosen during Calado's week of holidays, when she would never have allowed her to be picked up at 6 a.m. without a formal request by the judicial police; and c) that judicial police officers who arrived from Lisbon to investigate the allegations of torture proposed sharing the blame between the judicial police and prison, something she refused. Correia praised the director, describing her as ‘courageous’ and as prizing ‘values’ more highly than ‘corporate interests’.
The report concludes that the testimony of Leonor Cipriano and of the prison director, as well as other available evidence, are convincing in terms of proving that a crime of torture was committed by officers of the Portuguese judicial police. It condemns the use of ‘medieval methods’ to ‘extract confessions at all cost, even if they are false’, as ‘inadmissible’ and as harmful for Portugal's image as an EU member that defends human rights and has a modern legal order and, as such, argues that these practices must be punished in ‘exemplary’ fashion, or the Portuguese citizenry will lose faith in the judicial system.
The report ends with a message from Leonor Cipriano, who was treated as a monster as a result of the horrible nature of the crime she was accused and found guilty of committing:
“I hope that my daughter Joana appears, not only to be with her again, but also to show the world that it was the gentlemen officers of the judicial police who tortured me and who are the real monsters”.
Source: Relatório sobre Tortura de Leonor Cipriano, 8.4.2008, ACED - Associação Contra a Exclusão pelo Desenvolvimento, SOS Prisoes - report (pdf)
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