Irishman was already discarded

See The McCann Files archive:  Gonçalo Amaral - The Interviews (July '08)

Irishman was already discarded
07 July 2008
Gonçalo Amaral placed a strong bet on this witness
Carlos Tomas
Thanks to 'astro' for translation

When he was discharged, the former investigator of the Maddie Case was preparing to hear an Irishman, who was considered to be a very relevant witness. But the present investigators don't give him credibility

The statements from the Irish citizen who is considered to be a key witness in the Maddie case by Gonçalo Amaral, the man who lead the entire investigation, were not considered to be relevant by the investigators from the Polícia Judiciária who presently hold the process.

During the two depositions, both informal, the Irishman who is only known as "Smith" said that he saw the father of Madeleine McCann, Gerry, leaving the apartment in Praia da Luz, Lagos, Algarve, carrying a child on the day that the little girl disappeared. This, during the period of time between 6 and 10 p.m., precisely when Maddie disappeared.

"He was one of the witnesses that should be questioned within the rogatory letter that was sent to England. But, due to the fact that he is an Irish citizen, the authorities in Leicester, England, failed to contact him. The diligence was not deemed relevant, given the fact that he was informally heard at the beginning of the process and his depositions were highly contradictory", a senior officer who is connected to the investigations revealed to 24horas.

The same source specified:

"First he said that he saw Maddie's father leaving the apartment carrying a child. But during a second hearing he said he was not certain that it was Gerry who carried the child. He even said he could not assert whether said person was actually carrying a human being. This type of witness is not admissible in court and they do not deserve credibility".

It is now up to prosecutor Magalhães e Meneses, who is analysing the process, to decide whether it is necessary to carry out further diligences, namely whether the hearing of the Irish citizen is necessary or not to reach a decision about the case, which apparently is to be archived concerning the suspicions of concealment of a cadaver and possible homicide that are pending on the McCanns.

(Note: See Martin Smith statements.  Smith never stated that he saw Gerry McCann "leaving the apartment".)

Witness testimony of Martin Smith, 26 May 2007
Date of Diligence: 2007.05.06
Location: DIC Portimao

The witness states:

• That he comes to the process as a witness.

• Being of Irish nationality, he does not understand Portuguese in its written or oral form and is accompanied by an interpreter.

• That he has an apartment in Luz, Lagos, located in the Estela da Luz Urbanizaco, A1C. This apartment is co-owned by a friend whose name is L*** O*****. He normally visits Portugal three times a year. When here, he stays in the apartment. Concerning this period, he states that he arrived in Portugal on the 30th of April, 2007, with a booked return date of May 9, 2007. He arrived at Faro airport and flew out from Dublin.

• Concerning the facts under investigation, on the 3rd of May, he went with his family to the Dolphin restaurant in Praia da Luz where they dined. Around 21H00 they left the restaurant and headed toward "Kelly's Bar"; about a 50 metre distance from the restaurant, following the path, as it is very short. The walk took him a few minutes. In "Kelly's Bar" they consumed some drinks. They left that establishment around 21H55 as his son was due to return home very early the next day. This bar is located on Calheta Street.

• After leaving the bar, he travelled in the opposite direction and reached a set of stairs which gave access to Rua 25 de Abril (25th of April Street). On this artery they followed a second street, parallel to Rua 1 de Maio (1st of May Street) whose name he does not remember. He was heading toward his apartment (Estrela da Luz complex) which is located a little above the street that crosses the primary school. As he reached this artery, he crossed an individual holding a child. He notes that it is normal to see people carrying children, especially during the holiday season. This individual was walking the downward path, in the opposite direction. He is not aware where this person was headed. He only saw him as they passed each other. He assumed it was a father and daughter and thought nothing more of it.

• Urged, states that when he passed this individual, it must have been around 22H00. He did not know at the time that a child had disappeared. He only became aware of the disappearance of the child the next morning, from his daughter in Ireland. She had sent him a message or called him regarding what had happened. At this point he thought that MADELEINE could have been the child he saw with the individual.

• Regarding the individual he states that: he was Caucasian, around 175 to 180m in height. He appeared to be about 35/40 years old. He had a normal complexion, a bit on the thin side. His hair was short, in a basic male cut, brown in colour. He cannot state if it was dark or lighter in tone. He did not use glasses and had no beard or moustache. He did not notice any other relevant details partly due to the fact that the lighting was not very good.

• He was wearing cream or beige-coloured cloth trousers in a classic cut. He did not see his shoes and cannot describe the colour or form of the same.

• He states that the child was female, about four years of age as she was similar to his granddaughter of the same age. It was a child of normal complexion, about a metre in height. The child has blonde medium-hued hair, without being very light. Her skin was very white, typical of a Brit. He did not look at her eyes. As she was asleep and her eyelids were closed.

• She was wearing light-coloured pyjamas. He cannot state with certainty the colour. She was not covered by any other cover or sheet. He cannot confirm whether she was barefoot but in his group, they spoke about the child having no cover on her feet.

• Urged, he states that the individual did not appear to be a tourist. He cannot explain this further. It was simply his perception given the individual's clothing. He states that the individual carried the child in his arms, with her head laying on the individual's shoulders to the right of the deponent. He adds that he did not hold the child in a comfortable position.

• Having already seen various photographs of MADELEINE alongside her images on television, states that she may have been the child he saw. He cannot state this as fact but is convinced that it could have been MADELEINE. Indeed, this is the opinion of his family.

• Questioned, says that the individual did not speak nor did the child as she was in a deep sleep.

• States that it is not possible to recognise the individual in person or by photograph.

• Adds that in May and August of 2006, he saw ROBERT MURAT in Praia da Luz bars. On one of these occasions, he was inebriated and spoke to everyone. He did not use glasses at this time. He also states that the individual who carried the child was not ROBERT. He would have recognised him immediately.

• At being asked, states that he was accompanied by his wife, MARY SMITH and his son, PETER SMITH, his daughter-in-law, S***, and his grandchildren of 13 and 6 years of age (children of PETER) T**** and C***, his daughter AOIFE (12 years of age) and his other two grandchildren (A******* (10 years old) and E***** (four years old). These are children of his daughter B***** who was in Ireland.

• States also that when he passed this individual mid-street, traffic is minimal or non-existent.

• He adds that the group passed him some metres away so that they could make out the individual from various distinct positions.

• He has added a sketch indicating the direction of the locale and the sighting.

• He has no other elements to offer the investigation.

• And nothing more was said. He reads and finds it in conformity, ratifies and signs together with the interpreter.

Additional statement by Martin Smith, 30 January 2008

I hereby declare that this statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I make it knowing that if it is tendered in evidence I will be liable to prosecution if I state in it anything which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.

I would like to state that the statement I made on 26th May 2007 in Portugal is correct.

The description of the individual that I saw on 3rd May 2007 carrying a child is as follows. He was average build, 5 foot 10” in height, brown hair cut short, aged 40 years approximately. Wearing beige trousers and darkish top maybe a jacket or blazer. He had a full head of hair with a tight cut. This individual was alone.

I saw Gerard McCann (sic) going down the plane stairs carrying one of his children on 9th September 2007 BBC news at 10 PM, I have been shown the video clip by Sergeant Hogan which I recognise. A clip I have seen before on the Internet.

In relation to the video clips of Gerard McCann and the person I saw on 3rd May 2007 when I saw the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007 something struck me that it could have been the same person. It was the way Gerard McCann turned his head down which was similar to what the individual did on 3rd May 2007 when we met him. It may have been the way he was carrying the child either.

I would be 60-80% sure that it was Gerard McCann that I met that night carrying a child. I am basing that on his mannerism in the way he carried the child off the plane.

After seeing the BBC news at 10 PM, footage on the 9th September 2007 I contacted Leicestershire police with this information.

During that time I spoke to all my family members who were with me on the night of 3rd May 2007 about this and the only one who felt the same way as me was my wife. She had seen the video clip of Gerard McCann walking down the stairs of the plane earlier that day. We did not discuss this until some days later.

This statement has been read over to me and is correct.

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