Detective in Madeleine case on criminal offence charge

Detective in Madeleine case on criminal offence charge
The Evening Standard 
11 June 2007 
Ben Leach

The detective co-ordinating the hunt for Madeleine McCann has been charged with criminal offences over another missing child case.

Goncalo Amaral and four other Portuguese police officers were charged this weekend in connection with the inquiry into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano from a village seven miles from where four-year-old Madeleine was abducted.

The nine-year-old girl disappeared three years ago.

Joana's mother and uncle were convicted of murdering and dismembering her. But Joana's mother, Leonor, claimed she was beaten into a confession by police during an interrogation that took place without her lawyer.

Portugal's Ministerio Publico - the district attorney - has confirmed it had charged three police officers with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of documents but did not reveal who had been charged with which offence.

However, Mr Amaral, the co-ordinator of the Policia Judiciaria in Portimao, has not been suspended from working on the Madeleine investigation, which started 39 days ago.

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