Madeleine policeman on charge

Madeleine policeman on charge
The Western Mail
11 June 2007

A senior Portuguese police officer working on the Madeleine McCann case has been charged over an attack on the mother of another missing girl.

Goncalo Amaral, coordinator of the Policia Judiciara in Portimao, Algarve, is one of five men accused of "scenes of aggression" against Leonor Cipriano, whose nine-year-old daughter, Joana, disappeared in September 2004.

The little girl's body has never been found but Cipriano and her brother, Joao, were charged and convicted of her murder.

Joana went missing from her home in Figueira, not far from where four-year-old Madeleine was abducted in Praia da Luz 38 days ago.

The alleged attack on Cipriano occurred when she was questioned over Joana's apparent abduction.

It is claimed the suspect was left with bruises all over her face and body, according to local newspaper Jornal de Noticias yesterday.

The Ministerio Publico, or District Attorney, charged three PJ officers with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of documents.

The MP did not reveal who had been charged with what offence.

Police sources said Mr Amaral was "very angry" about the allegations and was considering taking action against the MP.

The source added, "He is very professional and has a lot of success in solving cases. He is very upset because reporters never speak of these successes."

It is alleged that the beating took place as Cipriano was questioned without a lawyer, according to the Portuguese Expresso newspaper.

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