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The Trials and Tribulations of Goncalo Amaral

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The Trials and Tribulations of Goncalo Amaral

Post by Tony Bennett on 15.07.10 20:56

I'm releasing this in advance of Goncalo Amaral Awareness Day [Saturday 17 July], though this timeline is far from complete, with many incidetns and episodes missing.

But I thought I'd post it in its present form in case it prompts forum members to fill in the gaps or make other suggestions as to how such a document could be improved or enlarged.

With that warning, here it is, in two parts:


The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann - and the trials and tribulations of Gonçalo Amaral - a timeline:


September - Leonor Cipriano, mother of 8-year-old Joana Cipriano, reported missing by her mother, who claims she disappeared whilst out shopping in the village of Figuera.

October 13 - Gonçalo Amaral heads the team which today arrested Leonor Cipriano for the murder of Joana Cipriano.

October 14 - Leonor Cipriano remanded in custody charged with killing her daughter. She is sent to Odemira Prison awaiting trial.


September – Leonor Cipriano and Jaoa Cipriano both convicted of murdering Joana and sentenced to length jail terms of over 16 years.


May 3, 9.50pm to 10.00pm - The first reports from the McCanns that Madeleine is missing.

May 3, around 10.30pm - John Hill, Manager of the Ocean Club, contacts the local police [the GNR] to report a missing child.

May 3, around 10.50pm - three officers of the GNR arrive at the Ocean Club and minutes later enter the McCanns’ apartment and talk to the McCanns and most of the rest of the ‘Tapas 9’

May 3, between 11.30pm and 12.00midnight - Policia Judiciara [Portuguese National Police Force = PJ] arrive.

May 4 - Clarence Mitchell, the then Head of the 40-strong Central Office of Information Media Monitoring Unit, at the heart of the government’s ‘spin machine’, is appointed by the government to control publicity on the McCann case. He flies out to Praia da Luz later in May. Before doing so, he boasts in a TV interview that it was he who spoke to Archbishop Cormac Murphy O’Connor and got him to arrange an audience for the McCanns with the Pope in Rome.

May 4, 4am - PJ ask McCanns to vacate Apartment 5A. Mark Warners move them to a different location in the Ocean Club. The crime scene in Apartment 5A is sealed and examined later that morning.

May 4 - Sniffer dogs are brought in, the Spanish and border police and airports are notified. Volunteer teams comb the village, resort and beach for clues. Already, the McCanns begin to accuse the Portuguese police of ‘not doing enough’ to find Madeleine. In the evening, the McCanns make an emotional plea, speaking of their ‘anguish and despair’.

May 4 - Alex Woolfall, Head of Crisis Management at Bell Pottinger, one of the nation's top media and pubiic relations firms, flies out to Praia da Luz, and spends much time advising the McCanns

May 5 - David Hopkins, Managing Director of Mark Warners, flies out to help, together with the Director (Alan Pike) and another member (Martin Alderton) of the Skipton-based Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP), both appointed by Mark Warners and presumably paid by them. The Skipton Herald reports that Mr Alderton has counselled those affected by major disasters across the country”, while a spokesman for Mark Warner said: ‘The Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP) came highly recommended by industry partners and have been known to us for some time. Their experience in dealing with a variety of incidents is second to none’.

May 5 - At least three police officers from Leicestershire Police fly out to praia da Luz, including Detective Superintendent Bob Small, who spoke to Jane Tanner on 13 May shortly before she adamantly identified Robert Murat as the abductor she''d seen 10 days earlier (see below)

Between May 5 and 12 - Two top people from Control Risks Group (CRG) are despatched to Praia da Luz,Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan. Mr Farrow is the ex-head of the Economic Crime Unit in the City of London Police and Mr Keenan an ex-Superintendent from the Metropolitan Police with specialist fraud and investigative experience. No-one knows how they can help find a missing child, but Jane Tanner admits to speaking to them before she identified Robert Murat as the man with a child she claimed to have seen on 3 May. It is uncertain who promised to pay for them to come out; it could have been the government, or Brian Kennedy. Jane Tanner referred to them as ‘the people Kate and Gerry brought in’.

Also during this time Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff were sent out to Praia da Luz, including Sheree Dodd, who soon returned to London amid reports that she did not accept the McCanns’ claims that madeleine had been abducted.

May 5 - Madeleine's aunt Philomena McCann joins in the McCann family criticism of the Portuguese police, claiming they are ‘uncommunicative’. They refer to having ‘a sketch of a suspect’ [Jane Tanner’s], but do not release it. A Portuguese lawyer who was later to play a key role in prosecuting Gonçalo Amaral, Marcos Aragao Correia, has claimed that on this day, he attended his first-ever Spiritualist Church meeting on the island of Madeira, after which he had a ‘vision’ of a large evil-looking man strangling a fair-haired young girl looking like Madeleine. Earlier, he had falsely claimed that ‘underworld sources’ had told him that Madeleine had been abducted, raped, killed, and her body thrown in a lake. Under pressure, he was forced to admit that he had lied about that. Marcos Correia subsequently admitted to being paid by the McCanns for his services (see below).

May 7 - Portuguese police hold a press conference.

May 8 - Reports claim that Portuguese police are investigating British paedophiles with links to Portugal and the Algarve coast in particular.

May 9 - Cimestoppers creates an international ’phone number for people who think they have information about Madeleine.

May 11 (Friday) to May 13 (Sunday) - Robert Murat is placed under observation by the PJ. He is observed to hire a car for the weekend and drives long distances over local roads.

May 12 - This would have been Madeleine’s 4th birthday. Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann come out of a ‘birthday mass’ and church service looking radiant and happy. Dr Gerald McCann says the couple are ‘convinced’ Madeleine is alive. The total reward being offered by business figures, celebrities and a national newspaper for information leading to Madeleine's safe return reaches £2.5 million. Chancellor Gordon Brown expresses sympathy for Madeleine's parents.

May 12 - Members of the International Family Law Group fly to Portugal to assist the McCanns.

May 13, late afternoon/early evening - Jane Tanner meets with members of covert investigation agency Control Risk Group and Bob Small of Leicestershire Police. Later that evening she claims to recognise, from the back of a police van with two-way glass, Robert Murat as the man carrying a child she claims to have seen at around 9.15pm on Thursday, 3 May, the date that Madeleine disappeared. Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann come out of church.

May 14 - Dr Gerald McCann states: “Until there is concrete evidence to the contrary, we believe Madeleine is safe and is being looked after". Police take Robert Murat in for questioning and search his home. Murat gives the police a statement about his movement between 1 and 4 May which included 17 significant errors (see 10 July, below).

May 15 - Police officially class Robert Murat as an ‘arguido’, or suspect.

May 16 - Three members of the ‘Tapas 9’ (Rachel Oldfield/Mampilly, Fiona Payner and Dr Matthew Oldfield) now visit police and say they saw Robert Murat hanging around the Ocean Club on the night Madeleine vanished. Police reported to be investigating ’phone calls between Sergei Malinka and Robert Murat the night Madeleine was abducted.

May 16 - McCanns’ fund-raising website set up: Find Madeleine Fund: Leave No Stone Unturned’ The following day Dr Gerald McCann on his new blog expresses delight that their new website has received 25 million hits and that donations to the Fund are pouring in. Posters protesting Robert Murat's innocence appear around the Norfolk village where he used to live.

May 16 - Detectives swoop on the Praia da Luz home of Murat’s close friend, Romanian computer expert Sergei Malinka, who designed a website for Mr Murat. The police discover he has wiped his computer hard drive. Madeleine's aunt Philomena McCann travels to Westminster to lobby for support, and Gordon Brown [then Chancellor of the Exchequer] pledges to help ‘in any way I can’.

May 20 (Sunday) - Dr Gerald McCann flies back to the U.K. for meetings with lawyers, with Leicestershire police, and to discuss the development of the Find Madeleine Fund.

May 21 - Dr Gerald McCann meets with people from Rothley, where he sees hundreds of tributes from villagers. He is also given a guided tour of the ‘incident room’ at Leicestershire Police HQ, Enderby, Leics, where he professes himself impressed with the latest ‘state-of-the-art’ technology. He then meets with various lawyers, referring to them already as his ‘team of lawyers’. He plans strategies for developing the website, promoting the Fund, and appointing a Campaign Manager in addition to the support provided by the head of the government ‘spin machine’ Clarence Mitchell. Only after this visit to England does Dr McCann release the well-known ‘last photo’ of him and Madeleine. During this day, Dr McCann produces a pillow-case said to have Madeleine’s DNA on it. The police could find no trace of any of Madeleine’s DNA from any of her clothes, bedding, hairbrush, toothbrush, or other personal items in the McCanns’ apartment in Praia da Luz, a fact that remains unexplained to this day.

May 22 - Dr Gerald McCann flies back to Portugal, along with Clarence Mitchell.

May 24 - The McCanns releases the so-called ‘last photograph’ of her before she disappeared. The McCanns assert that it was taken at 2.29pm on the date she disappeared although the camera reading showed ‘1.29pm’. The McCanns' Find Madeleine Fund reaches almost £300,000. The number of hits on the website reaches 125 million.

May 25 - Dr Gerald McCann reads a prepared statement to the world’s media about a description of a person said to have abducted Madeleine. The description is based on the account of the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner, who has already identified Robert Murat as the person she claims to have seen. The man is described as “White, approximately 35 to 40 years old, of medium build and 5ft 10ins tall. He was wearing a dark jacket, light beige trousers and dark shoes”.Later, the PJ, who do not believe Jane tanner, quietly issue a similar description. These developments only occur after sustained pressure from the McCanns, their legal team and public relations advisers, and the British Government. It is later admitted that Gordon Brown spoke to Dr Gerald McCann several times on the ’phone and spoke to the Portuguese authorities, pressing them to release a description. At the time, Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer, not the Foreign Secretary.

May 29 - Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann fly to Rome to meet the Pope

May 30 - The McCanns meet the Pope at St. Peter’s Square in The Vatican. The event is beamed across the world’s media along with photos of Madeleine McCann.

May 31 - The Portuguese Policesay they’ve been inundated with messages from ‘clairvoyants’ and ‘psychics’ and have a 4”-thick file of letters from them.

June 3 - Just one month after Madeleine had disappeared, Dr Gerry McCann was already planning a ‘big event’ to mark Madeleine’s abduction. He told the press: “We want a big event to raise awareness that she is still missing…It wouldn’t be a one-year anniversary, it will be sooner than that.” He had talked specifically of approaching celebrities like Elton John to ‘front’ a major fund-raising concert.

Less than a month later, on 28th June 2007, Dr Gerry McCann said: “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”.

June 6 - The McCanns are in Berlin. They are interviewed on TV. A German journalist raises for the first time the suspicion voiced by some that the McCanns know what really happened to Madeleine. Dr Kate McCann brushes this aside nervously by claiming this view is only shared by a tiny minority.

June 7 - A mystery ’phone call, later traced to Argentina, is received from a man claiming to know Madeleine's whereabouts. The McCanns temporarily put their European search for their daughter on hold in case they need to change their plans.

June 13 - An anonymous letter sent to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf claims Madeleine's body is buried in deserted scrubland only nine miles from where she was abducted.

June 17 - Portuguese Police issue a statement saying that the McCanns, their friends and other staff of the Ocean Club may have destroyed vital evidence in the first few hours after her abduction by trampling all round the apartment from where the abductors had supposedly taken Madeleine n, during their search for her. Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa says that their actions ‘could prove fatal for the investigation’.

June 21 - The first of flurry of dozens of false ‘sightings’ of Madeleine in Malta.

June 22 - Hundreds of balloons bearing Madeleine's photo are released across the world on the 50th day since she was reported missing.

June 28 - Spanish police arrest an Italian man and a Portuguese woman suspected of trying to cash in on Madeleine’s disappearance by claiming they were collecting cash for Madeleine’s Fund.

Dr Gerald McCann makes the following statement: “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”.

July 2 - The McCanns move out of the apartment in the Ocean Club resort where they have been staying since the abduction to a private villa nearby. The rent is said to be being paid by an unnamed benefactor.

July 6 - Dutch police reveal they have arrested a man in Eindhoven suspected of attempting to defraud Gerry and Kate McCann demanding two million euro (£1.35 million) for information on her whereabouts.

July 10 - Robert Murat taken in for more questioning. Now that he knows the police have mobile phone triangulation records which pinpoint where he was during those four days, he changes his original story in at least 17 different respects.

July 11 - More questioning of Robert Murat and also the police carry out a ‘confrontation’ between three members of the ‘Tapas 9’ [Rachel Oldfield/Mampilly, Fiona Payne and Dr Russell O’Brien] and Robert Murat. The three of the ‘Tapas’ group say: ‘We saw you hanging around the Ocean Club on the night Madeleine disappeared’. Murat says: ‘Oh no you didn’t, I wasn’t there, I was chatting with my Mum at her home’. Each side sticks to their story but the PJ tend to believe Murat and not the three friends of the McCanns.

July 12 - Dr Gerald McCann flies back to the U.K for a meeting with the British Police in London.

July 13 - Dr Gerald McCann meets with the police in London, while Dr Kate McCann flies back with relative Michael Wright of Skipton to attend a christening in Skipton of their two god-children.

July 15 (Sunday) - The McCanns attend the christening of their god-children.

July 16 - ‘Harry Potter’ author J K Rowling announces she will use the worldwide appeal of Harry Potter to help the search for Madeleine. Posters of Madeleine are made available to booksellers in more than 200 countries around the world ahead of the publication of the long-awaited final book in her best-selling series on July 21. Nothing more is said about J K Rowling’s support for the McCanns after this announcement.

July 23 - On a four-day ‘fact-finding visit’ to the United States, Dr Gerald McCann meets U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to ‘discuss efforts to tackle child abduction’.

July - Portuguese police call in Martin Grime, one of the world’s top sniffer dog handlers, and ask him to bring cadaver dog Eddie and bloodhound Keela to Portugal.

August 1-8: Martin Grime, and springer spaniel dogs Eddie and Keela in Praia da Luz. The cadaver dog Eddie detects the scent of human cadaverine, in other words a corpse, in four places in the McCanns’ apartments, on four items of clothing and property belonging to Dr Kate McCann and the children, and in their hired Renault Scenic car and on its key.

August 3 - Details emerge of a possible sighting of Madeleine in Belgium. A child therapist says she is ‘100% sure’ she saw the young girl at a restaurant in the Flemish town of Tongeren, not far from the Dutch border, on July 28. The witness said the girl was with a couple, a Dutch man and an English-speaking woman, who were acting strangely and not like ‘normal parents’.

August 4 - Robert Murat's house searched a second time. Dr Kate McCann discloses for the first time that, as she tucked Madeleine into bed the night Madeleine disappeared, she said: ‘Mummy, I've had the best day ever. I'm having lots and lots of fun’.

August 5 (Sunday) - Major articles by-lined to Lori Campbell in the Sunday Mirror and the Independent on Sunday. In those articles. Dr Kate McCann admits that the pair of them left Madeleine and the children on their own six evenings in a row. The search of Murat's home is completed; apparently nothing new is found.

August 6 - A Portuguese newspaper reports that British sniffer dogs have found traces of blood on a wall in the apartment where Madeleine went missing. According

to Jornal de Noticias, Portuguese detectives, in an off-the-record briefing, now believe it is more likely than not that Madeleine is dead, perhaps ‘having been killed accidentally’.

August 8 - Rachael Oldfield/Mampilly complains about damaging and untrue leaks from the Portuguese police.

August 9 - The McCanns take their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie to the creche at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz for the last time. It follows concerns about photographers taking pictures of their children and disturbing holidaymakers using the child-minding facility. Murat's lawyer, Francisco Pagarete, publicly criticises the McCanns' ‘strange’ behaviour in leaving Madeleine alone on the night she vanished, adding that ‘People in Praia da Luz want ‘these bloody McCanns’. The McCanns issue a statement sating: ‘We will not be bullied into leaving Portugal’ by the growing backlash against them.

August 10 - The McCanns launch a new section of the internet video-sharing website YouTube, called ‘Don't You Forget About Me’. It will be devoted to helping to find missing youngsters such as Madeleine.

August 11 - the 100th day since Madeleine disappeared. The McCanns attend a service for Madeleine at a church in Praia da Luz. The Portuguese police acknowledge officially, for the first time, that Madeleine could be dead. Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa tells the BBC that ‘New evidence had given intensity to the possibility that Madeleine was killed’. A ‘McCann family friend’ is quoted as saying: ‘It is ‘extraordinary’ that the police did not have the decency to tell the couple that they now believed Madeleine could be dead, before stating it in an on-the-record interview.

August 12 (Sunday) - Dr Kate McCann tells Woman's Own magazine that she would rather know her daughter was dead than live in limbo forever. She says: “Gerry and I have spoken about this and in our heart of hearts we'd both rather know - even if knowing means we have to face the terrible truth that Madeleine might be dead. We both need to know”"

August 15 - The Times reports that blood traces found in the bedroom where Madeleine was sleeping the night she disappeared were not hers. It says: ‘Forensic results show the blood came from a man’.

August 16 - Asenior police officer in Portugal says ‘It’s a strong theory that Madeleine is dead.

August 17 - Alipio Ribeiro, National Director of the Portuguese judicial police, tells El Mundo that forensic test results from the U.K. on blood traces from the holiday apartment ‘are due imminently’. He adds that ‘The quality of the traces found was not very good and it was possible they would be inconclusive’.

August 20 - News reports suggest the police inquiry has entered a ‘decisive phase’, with detectives poised to carry out a series of new searches.

August 21 - Dr Russell O'Brien and his partner Jane Tanner deny what they say are ‘smears’ about them in the Portuguese press.

August 22 - The McCanns issue a statement saying thatMadeleine ‘may be alive and in Spain’. At the same time, the McCanns give interviews to Spain's three top-selling newspapers.

August 23 - There are reports in the Spanish press thatpolice in Spain are investigating a reported sighting of Madeleine.

August 24 - TheMcCanns attack a series of police leaks which they save ‘have fuelled preposterous speculation about what happened to his daughter’. They say they are concerned that so much information has made its way into the public domain despite Portugal's strict judicial secrecy laws.

August 25 - Dr Gerald McCann says he willbe returning to work soon.

August 29 - Dr Gerald McCann issues an appeal toMadeleine's abductor ‘end our 118-day nightmare, if only to assuage the torment" in our souls’.

August 30 - This should have beenMadeleine's first day back at school at Bishop Ellis Catholic Primary School, Thurmaston, Leicestershire.

August 30 - The McCanns say they will launch a libel action against a Portuguese newspaper, Tal & Qual, based in Oporto, which said that police believe they killed their daughter.

A newspaper report says detectives are about to name them as suspects in their daughter's disappearance.

September 5 - Pope permanently removes appeal to find missing Madeleine McCann from Vatican website

September 6 - Dr Kate McCann taken in for questioning by the PJ: released, but made ‘arguida’ (suspect)

September 7 - Dr Gerald McCann taken in for questioning by the PJ: released, but made ‘arguido’ (suspect)

September 7 - A further report on the DNA results of fluids found in the McCanns’ apartment and hired car is e-mailed by John Low of the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham to the PJ in Portimao

September 10 - Damning interim Report of Detective Inspector Tavares Almeida which gave strong evidence that Madleine McCann had died in Apartment 5A and that the parents must have been involved in concealing the body

September - Gonçalo Amaral speaks to media off the record blaming the British government for interfering with his investigation.

October 2 - Gonçalo Amaral receives a fax removing him from the Madeleine McCann investigation, and ordering him to report to duties at Faro instead of Portimao. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is told two hours beforehand.

October - Brian Kennedy, double glazing magnate, contacts Gail Cooper, who claims to have seen a strange man in Praia da Luz just before the time Madeleine was reported missing. He then arranges for Melissa Little, supposedly an F.B.I.-trained ’forensic artist’, to prepare a sketch of him. The sketch is dubbed ‘monster man’ or ‘George Harrison man’. The PJ later totally dismiss Gail Cooper’s evidence as it is inconsistent; her second statement contradicted her first.

November 13 - Double glazing magnate Brian Kennedy travels to Portugal with his in-house lawyer from the Latium Group, and meets with suspect Robert Murat and his lawyer Francisco Pagarete. They meet at the house of Murat’s uncle and aunt, the Eveleighs. Murat’s mother is there. Kennedy wanted to keep the meeting top secret, but news about it leaked out.

November 14 - Kennedy meets with the PJ and Metodo 3 at Portimao Police Station. He says his only interest is to help find Madeleine.

December 31 - Daily Mail reports that ‘Two British sisters gave a dramatic account of a pair of strangers watching the Ocean Club pool and Tapas Bar hours before Madeleine McCann vanished’. The pair are Jayne Jensen and Annie Wiltshire, two divorcees from Miadstone, Kent. They were in Dr Gerald McCann’s tennis group but didn’t for some reason come forward any earlier.

Tony Bennett

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Part Two

Post by Tony Bennett on 15.07.10 20:57



January 6 - The People and the Mail on Sunday carry stories about Paul Gordon having seen a suspicious man in Praia da Luz. It later turns out that Paul Gordon, from Fareham, had been spoken to by Brian Kennedy.

January 7 - More follow-up stories in the Daily Mirror about the man Paul Gordon saw in Praia da Luz.

January 8 - Daily Mirror reveals that Gail Cooper, a Nottinghamshire grandmother, also saw the same suspicious man in Praia da Luz.

January 9 - Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ chief public relations spokesman, meets the IMG agency, the firm behind the award-winning drama-documentary ‘Touching The Void’. Dr Gerald McCann has to play down speculation that they will be making a film about Madeleine's disappearance.

January 13 - Brian Kennedy interviews another witness, Albert Schuurmans of the Roscoe Foundation.

January 16 - Three days after Brian Kennedy’s interview with Albert Schuurmans of the Roscoe Foundation, Dr Gerald McCann emails Superintendent Stuart Prior of Leicestershire Police with a PowerPoint presentation (Folio 3966 in the PJ Files), with the briefest of covering notes saying: ‘As discussed’ (between McCann and Prior). One hour later Prior forwarded the package to Ricardo Paiva of the Portuguese Police, asking for instructions and stating, among other things:

“The PowerPoint attached (Folio 3968) was completed by the McCanns, but the statements were all taken by the U.K. police. Miss Tanner’s description was taken from the press and from the summary of her statement. There is some urgency around this as we need to decide prior to the Gail Cooper artist’s impression appearing in the U.K. press. How are you going to deal with the possible press issues? What are you planning around Mr Kennedy and the private investigation firm?…I will need to get back to the McCanns as he [Dr Gerald McCann] has asked to be updated. How would Paulo [Mr Rebelo] want this conducted and what information I am to provide to them? They are very excited about this potential lead”.

January 19 - News of the World trailer for their Sunday edition the following day: ‘Face of kidnap beast to be revealed’

January 20 - News of the World front page headline: ‘Beast who took McCanns’ little girl’. Clarence Mitchell holds a press conference at which he holds up artists’ impressions of ‘monster man’/’creepy man’/George Harrison man’. Mitchell subtly criticised the Portuguese police: “We're not going to criticise the police in any form - they have got a difficult enough job. It seems drawings of this sort are not done as a matter of course in Portugal”. Mitchell made three demands: (a) a worldwide search, co-ordinated by a central phone number manned by their private-detective agency to identify and locate the man in the sketches (b) a full review of all police records and witness statements, including one taken from a 12-year-old girl who reported sightings of a strange man in the Portuguese resort in May last year (c) ‘complete co-operation’ between the Portuguese police, Interpol and the authorities in Spain, Morocco and Britain.

January 21 - Martyn McLaughlin in ‘The Scotsman’ writes an article about Mitchell’s press conference: “The McCanns employ the rhetoric and methodology of authorities…It had all the features of an official police press conference: a solemn appeal for sightings, delivered with detective-speak phrases such as ‘eliminating suspects in the investigation’. However, the man standing behind the lectern was not a senior policeman but a PR consultant…” The language of Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' public face, was unequivocal: ‘Who is he? Where is he? We believe this man could be linked to Madeleine's disappearance’." The article went on to quote a former senior officer with Strathclyde Police: “The family's approach was designed to keep public interest in the case buoyant…The language and the presentation that are being used imitate the police, thanks to their PR people. They know that's a good way to catch the public's eye…it captures people's attention”. The article refers to ‘tension between the McCanns and the Portuguese police still being evident…’.

January 22 - Article by Vanessa Allen in the Daily Mail says that Gail Cooper’s ‘monsterman’ ‘could have been seen by four separate witnesses’. But the paper also quotes Portuguese police dismissing the artists’ sketch of a long-haired man as ‘a diversionary tactic by the McCanns’. Jane Tanner is now quoted as saying: “I am 80% sure that the man I saw on 3 May is the same one as in this artist’s impression”. The report adds that ‘a million posters of the sketch are now being distributed around Portugal, Spain and North Africa’.

February 4 - Portugal's top detective, Alipio Ribeiro, says in a radio interview that police were ‘hasty’ in making Madeleine's parents suspects in her disappearance.

February 13 - Portuguese Justice Minister Alberto Costa says that the police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance is ‘nearing its end’.

March 19 - McCanns get £550,000 agreed libel damages in the High Court.

April 8 -Three Portuguese detectives attend the beginning of interviews by Leicestershire Police of the ‘Tapas 9.

April 8 - On the very same day, Marcos Correia has meetings with the Director of Odemira Prison and Leonor Cipriano, who is locked up there. As a result, the three of them work on papers for the prosecution of Mr Amaral and four of his fellow detectives for allegedly beating Leonor Cipriano into a making a false confession. At that time, Leonor Cipriano had another lawyer representing her. An indictment is sent by Marcos Aragao Correia to the following impressive list: President of the Republic, the President of the Assembly of the Republic, the Chairman of the Committee for Constitutional Affairs, Rights and Freedoms, the Attorney-General, the Minister of Justice, the Ombudsman,, the Inspector-General of Bureau of Justice and the President's Commission on Human Rights of the Bar. It is referenced: Lisbon, 8-04-2008; N. Ref No 16/apd/08. It is headed: ‘Report on police torture of Leonor Cipriano’.

April 10 - A leak of an interview with the McCanns reveals that the McCanns are saying that Madeleine asked Dr Kate McCann at breakfast on the morning of the evening she disappeared: “Mummy, why didn't you come when me and Sean we crying last night?"

On the same day, the McCanns speak to the European Parliament in Brussels, with the backing of former Conservative M.E.P. Sir Edward McMilan-Scott, calling for a Europe-wide missing child alert system. The Parliament later backed the call but the European Council, which has to approve any Parliamentary recommendation, did not support the move.

April 13 - Solicitors Simons Muirhead and Burton, acting for Robert Murat, confirm that he is suing 11 British newspapers and one TV station for libel.

April 26 - TV interview in which Dr Gerald McCann says “I believe Madeleine is still probably alive and there is absolutely zero evidence to suggest otherwise.

July 1 - First reports in Portuguese newspapers that the Portuguese police may be suspending their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann due to a ‘lack of evidence’. Two Portuguese newspapers, citing unidentified police sources, report that the police could reopen the case ‘if new evidence emerges’.

July 15 - Robert Murat collects a reputed £600,000 agreed libel award from several British newspapers.

July 21 - Portuguese Attorney-General issues final report of the PJ. It says there is no firm evidence to bring charges against anyone over Madeleine’s disappearance. But it also leaves open both possibilities: that Madeleine was abducted, or that she died in the McCanns’ apartment.

July 28 - Guerra e Paz publishes Mr Amaral’s ‘The Truth About A Lie’.

August 16 - Another false ‘sighting’ of Madeleine, this time on the Troon (Scotland) to Larne (Northern Ireland) ferry.

October 21 - Proceedings begin against Mr Amaral and four detectives alleging they beat Leonor Cipriano into making a false confession and then covered it up. The case is immediately adjourned until 24 October.

October 29 - A lawyer, José Maria Martins, writes a stinging article on the decision of Dr Marihno Pinto, Head of the Lawyers Order [equivalent to our Bar Council for barristers], to become actively involved in the case against Gon alo Amaral. He writes (extracts only):

The Lawyers' Order has made the wrong decision in becoming assistant in the case concerning Leonor Cipriano. Those who have even a minimum of experience regarding the actions of the Policia Judiciara do not believe that the inspectors would ever attack Leonor Cipriano causing her the bruises shown in the photographs. The whole process seems to be deliberately staged to attack the Portuguese police, in fact to attack Portuguese Justice. If the inspectors were to be convicted, Portugal would be denigrated at all levels.

The Lawyer's Order should maintain the impartiality necessary to avoid jeopardising the defence mounted by the Portuguese lawyers. They are providing a lawyer to help the accuser, Leonor Cipriano. The head of Lawyers’ Order, Dr Marinho Pinto, does not have my support in this matter. Quite the opposite, it is my belief that Dr. Marinho Pinto has done Portuguese law a disservice. The Freemasonry movemennt and the United Kingdom would definitely enjoy the conviction of the Inspectors. What a present that would be for Gordon Brown! If that happened, news would spread around the world that the investigators of the PJ, those who ‘upset’ Madeleine’s parents, weren't cops after all, but torturers! Not even in Burundi would this be acceptable!

October 29 - Gonçalo Amaral's lawyer claims in court that the lawyer for Leonor Cipriano’s ex-partner (and Joana Cipriano’ stepfather), Leandro da Silva, and his lawyer [Marcos Aragão Correia] knew a week beforehand that Gonçalo Amaral was going to be removed from the Madeleine McCann investigation. Mr Amaral’s lawyer said that this could be gleaned from the court papers submitted by Marcos Corriea.

During the Court hearing that day, there was what was called ‘a new contradiction’ from Leonor Cipriano. At Monday’s heraing, Leonor Cipriano said on oath that Gonçalo Amaral did not watch the beating of her which she said forced her to confess to her daughter's death. Today she said, "No, Gonçalo Amaral actually beat me". When challenged by the judge, she said: “I’ve recovered my memory after watching a report on television”.

October 30 - Marcos Correia is quoted in the Portuguese weekly crime newspaper ‘O Crime’ as saying: The English police discovered Gonçalo Amaral's dirty secrets. I'm going to reveal them in court!” Marcos Correia was also challenged as to whether he had been paid by Método 3, the detective agency paid for by the McCanns, to frame Gonçalo Amaral. The newspaper 24Horas asked him directly if the McCanns and/or

Método 3 had paid him. Marcos Correia answered: The McCanns haven't paid me any fees, but only expenses for mileage and transport, lodging and food, in order to interview João Cipriano [brother of Leonor Cipriano] in priosn. The purpose of the meeting with João Cipriano was to analyse the procedures Amaral used as a PJ investigator ». He further told 24Horas: "I accepted this case for humanitarian reasons only. In haven’t received one cent. I am not receiving any fees. It's not an obsession of mine Marcos Correia had however already admitted that he received money from Método 3 to pay his expenses when twice made searches in the Arade Dam, claiming to be looking for Madleine’s remains.

An unnamed source for the defence was quoted as saying: "This doesn't look like a trial in the Joana Cipriano case but more like one in the Madeleine McCann case. Gonçalo Amaral has become a sort of ‘Public Enemy No.1" for the McCann couple.

During the Court hearing that day, there was what was called ‘a new contradiction’ from leonor Cipriano. At Monday’s heraing, Leonor Cipriano said on oath that Gonçalo Amaral did not watch the beating of her which she said forced her to confess to her daughter's death. Yesterday, Joana's mother corrected her version: "Gonçalo Amaral beat me". When questioned by the judge, she said she had recovered her memory after watching a report on television.

October 31 - Marcos Correia now denied ‘being paid anything’ by anyone to represent Leonor Cipriano.

The private detectives agency hired by the McCann couple asked Marcos Aragão Correia "to enter in the Joana Case". Método 3 were contacted by 24Horas and denied they had ever made any payment to Marcos Correia.

The private detective agency, contacted yesterday by CM, denied any connection whatsoever to the lawyer. The payment was also denied, even though Aragão Correia has already admitted that he received money to pay the "expenses" when he made searches to find Maddie's corpse in the dam of Bravura, in Lagos.

The lawyer from Madeira, told he had a supernatural indication to the whereabouts of the body of the British child and that he had gone to the Algarve at his own expense. He entered into contact with the McCann detectives, who made him a request: "They have asked me to try to get involved in the Joana Case to obtain statements from Leonor and her brother and to try to understand if there was torture, nothing else", he guarantees.

This at a time where suspicions have been raised that by defending Leonor, he is being paid by someone who is interested that Gonçalo Amaral is convicted, precisely because he was the Coordinator of the investigation to the Maddie Case, which pointed towards the involvement of the parents in the crime. "I don't get paid in pounds or in euros. I am here for principles, and my objective is to set free Leonor."


January 20 - The trial of the 5 detectives resumes after a second long adjournment.

January 22 - Leonor Cipriano's lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correia, was suspended from practice, during the trial, by the Madeira branch of the Lawyers' Order, An allegation of professional misconduct had been made against him. He had to leave the court room in Faro at 10.20am. The Lusa Press Agency reported that Marcos Correia re-entered the court room at 11.20am asking for permission to resume his advocacy.
The judge, Henrique Pavão, refused the request and forced him to leave the court room. saying: “The Doctor will leave the audience room, one way or another”. As he left, Lusa reported that Marcos Correia left expressing his anger at the judge's decision.

February 5 - The paper 24Horas headlines an article: “Marcos Correia , lawyer for Leonor Cipriano, calls Gonçalo Amaral a ‘criminal of the worst kind’.” He announces with glee that he has just indicted Gonçalo Amaral on another criminal charge, this time concerning the alleged torture of Leonor Cipriano’s former partner, Leandro da Silva. His announcement read: It is with great pleasure that I inform you that Gonçalo Amaral has been constituted an arguido in a new investigation where he is accused of the crime of torture against António Leandro David Silva. This new process is following proceedings, and a new trial is expected, very soon”. During one of the sessions of the trial, but outside the courtroom door, Leandro da Silva said he had personally witnessed the assault on Leonor Cipriano and that, he too, was assaulted.

Gonçalo Amaral reacted by saying he was going to bring proceedings against both Leandro da Silva and Marcos Correia.

February 7 - "Marcos Aragão Correia needs to be hospitalised", says24Horas, as Gonçalo Amaral suggests in court that the attorney suffers from psychiatric problems. He is quoted as saying: "Friends of mine who are connected to medicine, with whom I have spoken, tell me that Aragão Correia is in need of being compulsorily admitted. I think that says it all”.

February 15 – The TV company SIC transmits a 31-minute documentary, produced by journalists Pedro Coelho and Rita Jordão, linking the cases of Joana Cipriano and Madeleine McCann. The documentary alleges that the highly controversial Spanish private detective agency, Método 3 , that was hired by the McCanns to allegedly find their mysteriously disappeared daughter, recruited the so-called ‘psychic lawyer’ Marcos Correia to help incriminate Gonçalo Amaral. SIC produced documents in the film which apparently proved that Método 3 had deliberately tried to undermine the credibility of the Portuguese investigation in the Madeleine McCann case, using Marcos Correia to help them do so. The film began with the claim: “Detectives hired by the McCanns tried to frame Gonçalo Amaral”.

May 22 - Gonçalo Amaral found guilty by the court in Faro of ‘filing a false report’. Some reports say he was found guilty of ‘misrepresentation of evidence’ or even ‘perjury’. He is handed an 18-month suspended prison sentence. Soon afterwards, he appeals against the decision. All defendants who accused of the crime of torture - Paulo Pereira Cristóvão, Leonel Marques and Paulo Marques Bom - were acquitted, but Detective Inspector António Cardoso received a suspended sentence of two years and three months for alleged ‘forgery’.

July - McCanns announce that they are suing Mr Amaral and his publishers Guerra e Paz for 1.2 million euros (just over £1 million) damages. They say this is because Mr Amaral has lied in his book ‘A Verdada da Mentira’ (The Truth About A Lie) and has hindered the world-wide search for Madeleine. They claim to be suffering

September - Judge bans Amaral’s book at an interim hearing in the libel suit.

September 13 - Belfast Telegraph publishes a major article on the Madeleine McCann case with an interview of the current Head of the McCanns’ private investigation team, retired Chief Inspector Dave Edgar. He tells the Telegraph he is convinced that Madeleine is being held alive in a prison lair in the lawless hills within 10 miles or so of Praia da Luz. He repeats this claim in the following weeks.

November 24 - Kevin Halligen arrested because the U.S. authorities want to interview him about an alleged fraud of over $2 million in the United States. Kevin Halligen was the man Brian Kennedy and Dr Gerald McCann appointed to lead their private investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann after terminating the contract of controversial Spanish detective agency Metodo 3. It turned out he was a hard-drinking con-man who cost the McCann investigation up to £500,000 with no measurable result.

December 10 – The McCanns fly out to Portugal for the start of the hearing of an appeal by Goncalo Amaral against the banning of his book. The following day the start of the trial has to be abandoned as Mr Amaral’s lawyer has swine flew, so the McCanns return to England.


January 12-14 - Three day trial in Lisbon to hear Mr Amaral’s appeal against the injunction banning his book. The trial is attended by the ten chairman of The Madeleine Foundation, Grenville Green, and his son. After three days, the case is adjourned.

February - Final hearing of evidence and submissions in Mr Amaral’s appeal against the banning of his book by a court in September.

I am sorry that this is a 'bitty' piece of work but will accept all constructive suggestions for how to enlarge and improve it
Tony Bennett

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