Madeleine detective convicted of perjury

Madeleine detective convicted of perjury
Wesley Johnson and Sam Marsden
22 May 2009
12:32 PM
Press Association National Newswire

The disgraced former Portuguese police chief who previously led the inquiry into Madeleine McCann's disappearance was convicted of perjury in a separate case today, Portuguese media reported.

Goncalo Amaral was given an 18-month suspended sentence by a court in Portugal.

Clarence Mitchell, a spokesman for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann, said the couple thought the conviction "speaks for itself" and would be continuing their defamation action against Amaral.

Mr Mitchell said: "While Kate and Gerry McCann will not be commenting on the court's decision, they will be continuing their defamation action against Goncalo Amaral.

"Today's conviction speaks for itself."

The McCanns are taking action over Amaral's "entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims" in the media about the case, which included the allegation that Madeleine was dead and that her parents were somehow involved in concealing her body.

In the separate case, Amaral was one of five officers of the Policia Judiciara (PJ) in Portimao, Algarve, charged over an alleged attack on the mother of another missing girl.

The five men were 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 May 3 2007.

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

Today, three PJ officers were cleared of torture, but Amaral was convicted of falsifying documents and another officer, Nunes Cardoso, was convicted of falsifying evidence at the court in Faro, the Correio da manha, a Portuguese newspaper, reported.

Earlier this month, the McCanns said:
"We - together with our three children Madeleine, Sean and Amelie - are taking this legal action against Goncalo Amaral over his entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory claims - made in all types of media, both within Portugal and beyond - that Madeleine is not only dead, but that we, her parents, were somehow involved in concealing her body."

The decision was taken in a bid to prevent further publication of Amaral's "deeply offensive" book The Truth Of The Lie, his television documentary and his "disgraceful thesis" that the parents were involved in their daughter's disappearance.

The statement continued:
"The primary reason for our legal action is simple: to stop any negative effect that these absurd and deeply hurtful claims may be having on the ongoing search for Madeleine. "We can no longer stand back and watch as Mr Amaral tries to convince the entire world that Madeleine is dead. "Nor can we allow this blatant injustice to Madeleine, with its obvious risk of hindering our attempts to find her, to continue.

"Mr Amaral's entirely unjustified claims have not only brought indescribable devastation and suffering to our lives, they have hugely compounded the already immense pain and anxiety we have endured since Madeleine's abduction."


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