Leading detective charged

Leading detective charged
8 September 2007
The Scotsman

Leandro Silva and Leonor Cipriano

Kate McCann's naming as a suspect in her daughter Madeleine's disappearance came as the detective leading the investigation was charged over an alleged attack on the mother of another missing girl.

Goncalo Amaral, co-ordinator of the Policia Judiciara (PJ) in Portimao, Algarve, is one of five men accused of "scenes of aggression" against Leonor Cipriano, whose nine-year-old daughter, Joana, vanished in September 2004.

The little girl's body was never found but Cipriano and her brother, Joao, were charged and convicted of her murder. She went missing from her home in Figueira, not far from where four-year-old Madeleine was abducted in Praia da Luz on 3 May.

It is claimed the attack on Cipriano happened when she was questioned over Joana's apparent abduction.

The Ministerio Publico (MP), or District Attorney, charged three PJ officers in June 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.

Mr Amaral was "very angry" and was considering taking action against the MP, according to a police source.

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