Chief Madeleine detective charged

Chief Madeleine detective charged over 'beating' of suspect in another missing girl case
Sam Greenhill
11 June 2007
Daily Mail

Cipriao Case
  • Leonor Cipriano allegations
    • five officers accused of beating her up during interview
      • three accused of torture
      • one accused of omission of evidence
      • one accused of falsification of documents
      • Goncalo Amaral allegedly one of the accused
      • Goncalo Amaral considering action against Ministerio Publico
      • According to source, Amaral very professional and had a lot of success solving cases
    • Jornal de Noticias claimed Leonor was questioned without a lawyer and left with bruises over face and body
    • lodged formal complaint - *never found* (???)
    • Ministerio Publico followed up complaint
  • Joana Cipriano murder
    • Joana 9 years old
    • Disappeared Sept 2004 from home in Figueira (7 miles from PdL)
    • Leonor Cipriano convicted of murder along with her brother Joao Cipriano
    • [Note article does not mention incestuous relationship between Leonor and Joao, the fact that Joana's body was chopped into pieces, etc.]

The detective leading the hunt for Madeleine McCann has sensationally been charged over his conduct in another missing child case.  Goncalo Amaral, head of the regional Judicial Police, is one of five officers accused over the beating-up of a suspect during questioning.

They are said to have attacked Leonor Cipriano, whose nine-year-old daughter Joana vanished from the Algarve in 2004. Cipriano was convicted of murder and jailed, along with her brother Joao, even though Joana's body was  A photograph of Cipriano's face covered in bruises following her police interview has been published in Portuguese newspapers. Now Mr Amaral has himself become an 'arguido' - Portuguese for suspect.

Embarrassingly, police still do not have any arguidos in their Madeleine hunt apart from Robert Murat, who looks increasingly likely to be cleared of any involvement.  The bizarre development caps a miserable week for the Portuguese force following sustained criticism of their bungling efforts to find Gerry and Kate McCann's little girl.

Joana vanished in September 2004 from her home in Figueira, seven miles from Praia da Luz where Madeleine was abducted 38 days ago.  The alleged attack on Joana's mother occurred when she was questioned without a lawyer over her daughter's apparent abduction. It is claimed she was left with bruises all over her face and body, according to the newspaper Jornal de Noticias.

She lodged a formal complaint never found. about her treatment which was followed up by the Ministerio Publico - or District Attorney's department. Now the department has charged three officers with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of documents.  It is not known which charge applies to Mr Amaral because a spokesman would not specify which officers had been charged with which offence.

Police sources said Mr Amaral was 'very angry' about the allegasuspendedtions and was considering taking action against the Ministerio Publico. 'He is very professional and has had a lot of success in solving cases,' the source said. 'He is very upset because reporters never speak of these successes.'  Mr Amaral, who is in his late 40s, was charged in the Algarve, while the other four were charged in Lisbon.  He is thought not to have been from work and it was unclear last night whether he was still working on the Madeleine case.

A mystery caller who claimed to know Madeleine's whereabouts was yesterday exposed as a conman who tormented her parents simply to steal reward money.  Spanish police took a call from a man using an Argentinian mobile phone last week. British officials considered his claims credible enough for the McCanns' flight from Berlin to Amsterdam to be delayed for three hours amid frantic efforts to re-establish contact with the man.  But now police have traced the call to a sick 'professional thief' in the Argentine city of Cordoba.  He had been trying to claim £500,000 from Madeleine's Fund - the money donated by wellwishers to help her parents continue their worldwide search.

The McCanns have vowed to stay in Portugal until 'at least the end of the summer' if Madeleine is not found. They were house-hunting yesterday, planning to move out of their temporary accommodation.

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