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Letters to the Heads of Portugal

leonorI never followed the Joana Cipriano case, well to be honest, nobody had even heard of this poor little girl until Madeleine’s disappearance.  So to be truthful, I can’t say whether Leonor Cipriano is guilty of harming her daughter or not.

Whether Leonor is guilty or whether she isn’t, she still has the right not to be tortured.

We know the Courts in Portugal agreed she was tortured but by whose hand they don’t know. And we know that in the hearing at Court with regards to her torture, Goncalo Amaral was found guilty of perjury and falsifying documents and another officer was found guilty of falsifying evidence, as reported by the London Evening Standard on the 29th May 2009.

On Friday, 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 newspaper reported.

The Daily Mirror reports:

Portugal’s attorney general later said there was no evidence to link the couple to Madeleine’s disappearance. Amaral was sacked from the case in October 2007 and later retired. He stood trial in relation to the investigation into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano, eight, in September 2004.

After a seven-month trial at Faro a jury found Amaral guilty of falsifying documents.

Outside court he said: “I expected to be convicted. There is a lot of political pressure on the case.”

Leonors lawyer, Marcos Aragão Correiam has now written to the heads of Portugal, he writes:

Hon. Prime Minister of Portugal

With copies to:
Hon. President of the Republic;
Hon. Attorney-General;
Hon. President of the Republic Assembly;
Hon. President of the Bar Association;
Hon. President of Amnesty International Portugal;
Hon. Journalists.

22 October 2011

Honourable Prime Minister of Portugal:

It is with great honour that I forward to you this open letter from my constituent Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano, dated and signed by this Portuguese Citizen on 14 October 2011 (transcribed below, and the original document attached here in PDF format).

Given the content of this public letter, we appeal to Your Excellency also a public response to the issues raised by my constituent.

One can summarize the content of the teleological questions to know the position of the Portuguese Government, given that the proven victims of crimes of torture remain without any compensation or support from the State, in flagrant violation of International Laws to which Portugal is legally bound to, namely the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading articles 11 to 15 inclusively, protected by the United Nations.

That is, we want to know if the commitment of the Portuguese Government in the implementation of international laws and agreements is limited solely to the application of economic austerity measures, or whether, by the contrary, it also covers all the other International Agreements of the Portuguese State, in particular the Protection of Human Rights.

With our best regards,

Marcos Aragão Correia,

Lawyer of Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano.

Enclosing a letter from Leonor herself:

Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano
Odemira Prison
Recluse No. 34
Odemira – Portugal

14-October-2011

Hon. Prime Minister of Portugal

I write to you in order that Justice is done in the disappearance of Joana Cipriano my daughter, as I have tried to do since there are already many years and through my Lawyer Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia. In the year 2011, I proved in the Portuguese Courts, without further possibility of appeal, that I was brutally tortured by agents of the Portuguese State, particularly of the Judiciary Police. However, my ex-lawyer João Grade dos Santos, who represented me until August 2008, did not asked for compensation, although I said to him that I wanted to be compensated for the torture that I was victim. Nevertheless, and having finally changed of Lawyer in August 2008, I already could not submit the claim for compensation, because at the time that my current Lawyer Dr. Marcos Aragão Correia took my legal sponsorship and representation, all the legal deadlines for the requirement for compensation were for many months already expired, due to the exclusive fault of Dr. João Grade dos Santos, who represented me not according to my will.

Concluded that the process is about my torture, in Portugal, and once two convicted, who are Portuguese Judicial Police officers, to prison sentences (Antonio Cardoso and Gonçalo de Sousa Amaral), I appealed to the United Nations so that Justice could be done in practice since, despite the already proved evidence of torture, no practical consequences resulted from the ruling of the Portuguese Courts.

I want to clarify the position of the current Government of Portugal in relation to this matter, and for that I ask you the following:

1 – The Portuguese Government agrees with the use of torture by its agents?

2 – If not, what do you do to prevent this practice?

3 – In relation to the victims of torture, proven in court but without practical effects, as it is my case, what do the Government of Portugal thinks to do?

4 – Does the Government of Portugal considers that the Treaties and International Laws against torture should be honoured, since the Portuguese State is also signatory, and if yes, compensated the victims of torture, including, if necessary, by administrative way?

5 – Finally, and most important of all, what is the position of the Government of Portugal in relation to the police investigations on missing children, in which no scientific proof has been produced, nor the children were never found alive or dead.

I’ll wait, with despair and in jail, for the answers to the questions I posed to you.

More inform the address of my Lawyer, to which all these issues should be clarified in my name:

Marcos Aragão Correia
Calcada do Pico, 35
9000-206 Funchal.

In the absence of your reply as Prime Minister of Portugal, I’ll assume, and will give notice to the United Nations, that continues to absolutely prevail in Portugal a total disrespect for the victims of crimes of torture and disappearances of children.

Odemira, 14 October 2011

Leonor Maria Domingos Cipriano

This all relates to a news report from AFP back in May 2011 where, lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia,  takes his complaint about the torture of Leonor to the United Nations:

Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer presented the High Commissioner for Human Rights complaint against the Portuguese government for torture against the mother and stepfather of Joan, missing child in 2004 in the village of Figueira, Portimão, Algarve.

Marcos Aragão Correia said in a statement sent to media that “at last Tuesday, May 17, followed, via registered mail,” the complaint “formal practice of brutal torture against the child’s mother and stepfather Joana Cipriano,” Leandro Silva.

The lawyer added that “this is the first time lodged a complaint at the United Nations of its kind against Portugal, and all the earlier cases of other citizens against Portugal for the practice of similar violations, were admitted to the European Court of Human Rights” .

“We believe that this unprecedented process at the United Nations against the Portuguese state will result in a greater internationalism of the case of the disappearance of Joana Cipriano, leading to an increase in pressure, the Portuguese authorities to reopen the process and finally investigate the case in a scientific way and correct, “he said.

Joana Cipriano disappeared on September 12, 2004 and Leonor Cipriano and her brother and uncle of the girl, John Cipriano, were convicted in March 2006 to 16 years in prison each on charges of murder and concealment of a body.

The case came to court in 2008, with Joan’s mother accused five current and former inspectors of the Judicial Police (PJ), a process involving crimes of torture, failure to report and document forgery.

Up until, August 2008 Leonor was represented by João Grade dos Santos. Here is some background information relating to Goncalo Amaral and João Grade dos Santos:

24Horas reported:

Gonçalo Amaral, who in court helped to condemn Joana’s mother over her daughter’s death, is going to train, from January onwards, at the Portimão office of João Grade dos Santos, Leonor Cipriano’s first lawyer.

On the other hand, João Grade stopped defending Leonor – who exchanged him for lawyer Marcos Aragão Correia – on the eve of the trial of the five PJ inspectors and former inspectors that stood accused by the Public Ministry of torture over Joana’s mother.

“Since the first moment of the Joana case, I never forgot that I was merely a lawyer playing my role, and Amaral was a policeman”, João Grade dos Santos told 24horas.

“Gonçalo contacted me to become his patron during the training, which is due to start in January. Given the fact that he resides in Portimão and I have an office there, I think he chose me for a practical reason”, he explains. “That would be the reason, otherwise he would have proposed to practise at the office of his lawyer, António Cabrita [head of the Faro District division of the Lawyer’s Order], with whom he has an excellent relationship”, the lawyer explains.

It’s been months since João Grade dos Santos and Gonçalo Amaral started regular contact. “We speak very often”, the patron says about the retired inspector. João Grade even believes that the former inspector who led the Joana case investigation “may have been the victim of an injustice in the process over torture against Leonor Cipriano”.

And according to CdeM (Thanks to BB1 for finding this information)

Leonor Cipriano’s lawyer was arrested for drug possession, yesterday afternoon at the entrance of Odemira Regional Prison, where he was talking with customers. João Grade dos Santos, 50, went to visit three prisoners – one of Joan’s mother – and, according to information from Territorial Commando Brigade of the GNR of Évora, prison guards found during the security search, 45 doses of amphetamine and a quarter tablet of ecstasy.

As I said at the beginning of my post, I don’t know if Leonor is guilty or not of harming her daughter.  I don’t support child killers, but I don’t support torture or beatings of prisoners whatsoever.

But if you speak out against the torture of Leonor Cipriano, you are accused of supporting child killers.  What don’t these people understand?  It is torture we are speaking out against, it doesn’t matter who the person is, torture by the Police is not acceptable in a modern democratic society.  If Leonor is guilty of harming her daughter, then a life behind is what she deserves.  But she doesn’t deserve to be tortured and neither does any other prisoner or person held in Police custody.

More Information 

The ACED and Marcos Aragão Correia’s reports (Portuguese pdf) (English pdf translation)

Amnesty International with Reference to Torture of Leonor Cipriano and Virgolino Borges (Screenshot)

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28 comments on “Letters to the Heads of Portugal

  1. A nice day to You even You make publicity to a person MAC……… his friends:

  2. Why i can not logout? 

  3. To logout just click on the arrow by the disqus sign and click logout.

    I am sorry but it seems that everything negative towards the McCanns can be published on sites, and everything positive towards GA can be published but anything else is no-no.

    As I said in my post, as  @GasparStatement:twitter  failed to read, I do not know if Leonor is guilty or not, I never followed the case and nobody heard of little Joana until Madeleine disappeared, but irrespective of all of that her lawyer does have the right to highlight her torture and do whatever he can for this woman.

    Justice does not mean beating prisoners or those you suspect of committing a crime.  Justice is sticking to the law and evidence.  I repeat it is the torture that I am condemning and any lawyer that highlights a persons treatment with regards to the torture their clients suffered has a right to be heard.

  4. Hmmm. At best this conviction was unsafe, at worst one or both of those convicted are innocent. In the meantime, no one knows (except for whoever was involved) what happened to this child. What proves she ever arrived home after that trip to the shop? 

    Certain aspects of the Mercher case (the Knox/Sollecito prosecution) reminded me of this case. 

    At the same time, I’m not quite sure about certain aspects:
    – Her previous lawyer and GA seem to know each other well (as of when does not seem clear);

    – Despite the fact that it was acknowledged in court that she had, in fact, been tortured during police custody, against whom could a civil case be brought as she was unable to identify those involved?

    – Was a civil case ever presented at the time (I haven’t checked, TBH)? Would it, or not, have been dependent on the outcome of the torture trial? If so, and if the original lawyer was no longer representing her, why would this be his fault?

  5. Hello Mccnr
    Did you ever find the proof of semen on Joana’s panties? I asked you earlier, but you may have missed the post, or I may have missed your reply.

    If it’s not in this legal document, do you have any idea where this could be substantiated (apart from TV shows)?

    http://www.dgsi.pt/jstj.nsf/954f0ce6ad9dd8b980256b5f003fa814/bfaf1cea93ab75fb8025716200388d89?OpenDocument&Highlight=0,cipriano

  6. Quanto a CaranaC não preciso de responder. Parece ter acesso a muitos dados. No entanto, proponho que se informe junto da Equipa de Investigação do caso Joana.

    ****

    Bren:

    http://translate.google.pt/#

    Eu sei fazer o logout.

    O problema estava no teu blog que me impedia de sair.

    E, eu  nem sequer já estava ligada ao twitter.

    Tu deves pesquisar o Método3+ Antonio Jimenez+Kevin Halligen+MAC;

    Tu deves pesquisar as características comportamentais e criminais destes. 

    Proponho que uma voluntária inglesa ou um homem voluntário procurem conhecer o MAC; 

    O MAC não se interessa por esta família disfuncional. (imagem)

    Pesquisa quem o contratou e para quê.

    Eu sei as respostas mas, como tu sabes, o meu inglês não é inglês…..Ao menos és sincera quando dizes que nada sabes do caso da Pequena Joana.

    A pequena Joana era muito pobre ; tinha um corte de cabelo feio e não era fotogênica :

    o MAC nunca colocou a fotografia dela na capa. Só colocou meninas bonitas e de melhor estatuto social.

    vídeo do MAC:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/FromTheStarsVideo#p/u/0/imtFyMBc9sY

    De: FromTheStarsVideo  | ‪22/01/2011‬  | 314 visualizaçõesAll the photographs of Orbs contained in this video are real and are the originals, not edited by any means. They show Love Spirits (the most superior kind of Spirits), and they were taken with their previous permission on the 10 of January 2011, inside my house in Funchal (Portugal), using a Canon PowerShot A480 digital camera (10.0 mega pixels). I want to thank very much to all of these wonderful Love Spirits, including of course Francesca Orofino, Joana Cipriano and Madeleine McCann, for their precious collaboration. The absolute Love that unite us all is indestructible and eternal! Thank you!Marcos Aragão Correia.

    http://translate.google.pt/#

  7. Mais uma vez………… saio do twitter e este blog impede-me de fazer o logout.

    Terei de desligar a net e o computador.

    Não me parece normal.

    • You use twitter to reply to this blog and have authorised disqus to use twitter.  It is not the blog doing it it is because you are logging out using your twitter account.

      When you first made a comment you authorised disqus to be used via twitter.

      Check your settings in twitter Under settings, there is a tab called applications, look down the list until you see disqus and then click on the revoke access.  That will remove it and stop you being logged onto this blog via disqus

  8. Well what a small world it is.  I just found this news report from 2008:

    http://www.mccannfiles.com/id189.html

    Faro, 24 Nov (Lusa) – Psychologist Paulo Sargento admitted in court today, during the fifth session of the trial of alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano, that the assistant in this process has psychopathic characteristics and a tendency towards suicide.

    The process of alleged aggressions against Leonor Cipriano by Polícia Judiciária (PJ) inspectors is related to the so-called “Joana case”, which dates back to the 12th of September 2004, the day when the little girl, aged eight, disappeared from the village of Figueira, Portimão, Algarve. 

    According to Paulo Sargento, an expert in forensics psychology and the person who was responsible for the report from the Institute for Forensics Medicine about Joana’s mother, which was carried out after the little girl’s disappearance, this document indicates that the assistant in this process is a person with “psychopathic” characteristics, “affective coldness”, “with traces of low socialisation”, with a “tendency to lie and fantasize”, with “traces of omnipresence” and who does “not respect other people’s wellbeing”, he said.

     The psychologist even said that Leonor Cipriano can be classified as an “aggressive” person, “without values”, “dissimulated” and who “is not concerned about the truth”. 

    During the trial session, the lawyer for arguido Gonçalo Amaral asked psychologist Paulo Sargento if a person with Leonor Cipriano’s characteristics “might try suicide or not”, which the expert answered to affirmatively and that Joana’s mother had a “tendency towards suicide”.

    Now another familiar name has turned up Paulo Sargento as the forensic/psychology expert.

  9. And Joana reported this back in 2008 about the other Torture case mentioned by Amnesty International

    http://joana-morais.blogspot.com/2008/11/torture-at-pj-in-court-this-week-jornal.html

    Three inspectors from the Polícia Judiciária go on trial the day after tomorrow, at the Court of Boa Hora, in Lisbon, over the crimes of torture and other cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment.

    The Lawyers’ Order – similarly to the case of Leonor Cipriano – which takes place in the Court of Faro – has also constituted itself as an assistant in this process.

    António Manuel Alves da Cunha, José Sanchez Diamantino dos Santos and Vítor Manuel Tavares de Almeida are the arguidos in this process, the facts having taken place in the year of 2000, according to the accusation.

    At that moment in time, the victim, Virgolino Borges, accused five inspectors – it was only possible to discover the identity of three of them – of torturing him during an interrogation to make him confess to a robbery.

    According to the accusation dispatch, the rail worker from Sintra was summoned to the Judiciária’s offices in Lisbon on the 2nd of March 2000, as a witness to a theft that had taken place in his work place, the CP [Portuguese railway company]. During the questioning and after having been made an arguido, Virgolino says that he “suffered a slap on his face”, was “handcuffed with his hands behind his back, forced to remain standing, and hit with a fist several times, namely in the stomach, kidneys and ribs area”.

    Further according to the accusation, the arguidos ordered the victim to take off his shoes, and Virgolino suffered “several blows with a latten against his feet until it broke”. He was “also kicked when he fell on the floor”. According to the document, Virgolino “passed through and lived during that interrogation – which took place between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. -, hours of terror”.

    The victim was then led to the PJ’s prison “and his entry file registered that he presented signs of aggression”. He was observed by a nurse who mentioned in his report that the rail worker “refers to pain in his back and to his abdomen and chest, and presents some scratches and bruises, which according to the inmate were caused at the Polícia Judiciária through aggression”.

    Virgolino was presented to a first interrogation on the 3rd of March, at around 7.15 p.m., and the diligence ended at 8 p.m. He remained in liberty under the obligation of stating his identity and residence. He didn’t tell the judge anything about the assault “because he feared reprisals”. He was assisted at Amadora-Sintra Hospital on the night of that same day.

  10. And the Times Reported this back in 2007 about the torture of Virgolino Borges.

    From The Sunday Times October 14, 2007
    Steven Swinford and Christopher Thompson Lisbon

    McCann case detective faces ‘torture’ trial

    A SENIOR Portuguese detective who interviewed Kate McCann and accused her of being involved in the death of her daughter is facing trial for trying to torture a suspect into confessing.

    Leaked court papers reveal that Tavares Almeida is one of three officers accused of beating Virgolino Borges, a railway worker, during nearly eight hours of interrogation.

    According to witness testimony the officers bound him with handcuffs behind his back, beat his bare feet with a fence post until it splintered and punched him repeatedly in the stomach, kidneys and back.

    Almeida is the second leading detective to be accused of torture. Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral, the investigation’s former co-ordinator, stepped down earlier this month amid separate allegations that he concealed evidence of thetorture of a woman jailed for the murder of her daughter.

    Almeida, who has led interviews and searches, is expected to face trial next year. He recently asked to be taken off the case and made an application for unpaid, extended leave.

    Last week the appointment of a fresh police officer to head the inquiry raised Gerry and Kate McCann’s hopes that it could be refocused on to the search for their daughter.

    He is Paulo Rebelo, Portugal’s second most senior police officer, who is conducting a full review of the case. This will include reinterviewing all the holidaymakers who were staying at the Ocean Club resort when Madeleine disappeared.

    Last week he made clear all lines of inquiry were open including the possible abduction. Detectives are, however, still setting store by forensic science tests, which they claim suggest Madeleine died in the apartment.

    There have been doubts about the reliability of the results. This week further analysis by the Forensic Science Service could prove critical in determining whether the McCanns and their friends face further questioning. Robert Murat, the only other suspect in the case, this weekend broke his silence to ask police to lift his status as a suspect. He said: “It’s five months, my savings are gone, Mum’s doing what she can. It’s very, very difficult.”

    The disclosure of the legal action against Almeida further threatens the credibility of the Portuguese police. According to the court papers, dated October 4, Borges was interrogated by Almeida and his colleagues over a theft on March 3, 2000. Following searches at his home at 7pm and locker at work at 7.40pm, Borges was taken to the policia judiciaria station in Lisbon. During the questioning, which went on until 2.30am, Borges claims he suffered bruises to his throat, stomach, feet and a gash in his head. The testimony states: “He was handcuffed behind his back and grabbed by an officer in such a way so he couldn’t double up and was punched various times in the stomach. Then they took off his shoes and with afence post started beating his feet until the post began to splinter.”

    The injuries were confirmed by his wife the following night, who claimed she saw abrasions and bruises to his abdomen and back after he had been released without charge.

    Almeida admits that he conducted the interrogation but says he cannot remember who was in charge and what happened.

  11. Extracting a confession by torture in order to solve a crime is not justice.

    If the police tell you to move on and you fail to obey and get hurt you can’t complain.  You had been warned and if you are stupid enough to stand there in front of riot police ready to charge then you know what you are letting yourself in for.

    But to be tortured into confessing is another matter entirely.  That is injustice and totally unacceptable.

    • No country’s system or practice is perfect. Moving forward may involve being able to admit that. 

      • Exactly Carana, all the time the problem is denied and the faults are not admitted to, you don’t get far.  

        Part of moving on is, as you say, accepting that there is a problem and resolving it.

        Finding excuses as to why torture happens is just shifting the blame from one to another without dealing with the crux of the problem.

        Everyone was mortified when it was revealed during the Libya campaign about the people who were burnt alive in a container

        http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/08/29/libya-rebels-imprisoned-in-baking-shed-before-being-gunned-down-and-burned-alive-115875-23379749/

        Torture is torture, it doesn’t matter what extent it ranges from, whether it is a beating or what Gaddafi did to those people.  And that is one fact that can’t be denied.  Just some are more sadistic than others when it comes to hand out the torture.

      • I was actually looking at it from a different perspective. People do have a national pride and some may tend to defend individuals in public (whatever they think in private), particularly if criticism appears from outside. That said, at some point every nation will need to address those issues. It is no doubt usually more acceptable if the issues raised come from within. 

      • National pride does play an important part in things.  I can fully understand that, and it does make your blood boil a bit when your own Police force keeps getting criticised and are forever being accused of being corrupt.  And I can understand to a certain extent what they are saying.  

        But on saying that in the next breath some of these people are even accusing their own MP’s, PJ officers of  being corrupt or bowing to pressure, in allowing the McCanns to get “away with it” as they say.

        Get away with what?  There is no evidence that I can see in the files that supports Goncalo Amarals thesis.

        I just wonder if these people would say the same if Goncalo Amaral was not involved in the Cipriano case.I just used Libya as an example to show the extremities of torture.  From what I have read even the local so-called police from Libya used to beat a confession out of people.But what gets me Carana, is why people can’t accept that you are speaking out against the treatment of people in custody and not about the crimes they are allegedly committing.Especially on twitter, if you speak of Leonor and her right of not being beaten then you are automatically labelled with the supporter of “child killer” tag.   

  12. Reading up re the Borges interrogation: I was already aware of that. The issue is: if all interviews had been video-taped, whatever happened (or didn’t) should be clear.

  13. Reading up (the reply thread was getting narrower and narrower).

    Some people (in any country) will believe that tabloids and matinée TV shows tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Hmm, the sensationalist press doesn’t seem as concerned with facts as it is with the addiction to high blood-pressure levels.

    So far, I have not found talking-heads to be reliable. As someone once told me, the real experts don’t have time for TV shows.

    I am more inclined to read articles by journalists whom I have found to be reliable over time, rather than the media outlets in which their articles are published. And even then, I try to double-check when possible.

  14. From a Daily Mail article by David Rose

    The PJ enjoys a high reputation in Portugal.

    “They are ranked among the top five police forces in the world,” attorney Trindad said, albeit admitting he did not know the source of this curious international ranking.Most PJ officers are graduates, and would-be entrants face severe competition, with a battery of psychometric, physical and academic tests before they can even be considered for the PJ training school.The force’s Press office likes to compare the PJ to the American FBI: “We are an elite,” spokeswoman Ana Mouro said.But beneath the veneer, as the case of Leonor Cipriano suggests, the reality can look less impressive.”She is nothing like Kate McCann,” her lawyer Joao Grade said.”She is very poor, with maybe only three years of schooling, and her children have several fathers.”She did not get to meet the Pope and she did not have the support of Sky and the BBC.”But I tell you this: if Kate had been treated like Leonor, she would have done what Leonor did ? ended by saying, ‘OK, OK, I’m guilty, and this is how I did it.'”The special judicial order ? imposed on top of the usual Portuguese secrecy ? means not only that Grade is prevented from disclosing virtually anything about the Cipriano case, but that pre-trial hearings of the charges against the detectives, due as soon as next month, will be held in camera.The Mail on Sunday has established crucial alleged details from other legal sources in Portimao.After Joana disappeared in September 2004, Leonor was arrested by the PJ in Portimao on October 14 at 8am.Held there and in the city of Faro without access to a lawyer, she was interrogated without sleep for 22 hours.Then, after a two-hour respite, she was interrogated again until 7am on October 16.By this time, as photos published by the Portuguese media make clear, her face was a mass of bruises.According to Grade: “Not just her face but her whole body was black and blue.”The police said she “tried to commit suicide” by throwing herself down stairs.If the alleged torture was to force a confession, it succeeded ? only for Leonor to withdraw it when she finally saw her lawyer the next day.The supporters of the accused police have claimed that the officers must be innocent because Cipriano could not pick out her alleged attackers in an identity parade.However, according to the sources in Portimao, this is because they are not alleged to have beaten her themselves, but to have brought in paid thugs.In any event, she was convicted and sentenced to 21 years.Last June, this was reduced on appeal to 16 ? though one of the five appeal court judges issued a dissenting opinion, stating that he was convinced she had been assaulted in custody and was innocent.If the criminal case against the PJ officers does lead to convictions, Grade said, she will appeal again. He has also lodged a case in the European Court of Human Rights.Strangely enough, Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral is not the only link between the Cipriano and McCann cases. Another of the senior officers who is now an arguido is the recently retired Chief Inspector Paulo Pereira Cristovao.He is one of the McCanns’ principal scourges ? not as a detective, but in his new capacity as a columnist for Diario de Noticias, among the most active of Portuguese newspapers in its pursuit of stories about Madeleine derived from leaks.”There is another link between the Cipriano and McCann cases,” a Portimao lawyer claimed.”You know, it’s like if Manchester United lose a big game: next week the pressure they have to win is very big.”The PJ are beginning to worry that now they might lose the Cipriano case.”If that happens, they have to win with the McCanns.”Of course, there is yet another connection.If Leonor Cipriano did not kill Joana, the chances of discovering the truth ? or indeed her body ? are now remote.And as the McCanns have stated repeatedly, if they are innocent, the enormous effort being poured into trying to blame them is effort diverted from the search for a missing four-year-old girl, and the person or persons who abducted her.That is a thought so grim that it almost makes one wish that the mindset so evident around Praia da Luz had a real foundation.My fear is that it has as much solidity as the sandcastles on the beach.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-482007/Lies-beatings-secret-trials-dark-police-handling-Madeleine-case.html#ixzz1bdipSOuH

  15. LOL. That is exactly who I had in mind (amongst others) when I wrote the above comment.  

  16. And I will never forget the words of David Jones another Mail writer when he wrote this in May 2011

    And I hope, though not with too much expectation, that it will finally silence those internet ghouls who seek to exacerbate their agony by casting blame and making vicious attacks on their character.

    The McCanns were just two decent, loving parents enjoying a family holiday – and, after reading Kate in her own, excruciatingly raw words, I am certainly sorry that I ever thought otherwise.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1384977/Kate-McCanns-haunting-account-makes-rue-day-I-doubted-them.html#ixzz1bdu303mI

    And where did all these doubts stem from, Portugal and their media.  

    BB1 has picked out a relevant section from the David Rose article.

    Like everything else about the case, the details of the prosecutor’s approach to the judge are covered, supposedly, by the judicial secrecy laws, under which the penalty ? in theory ? for making unauthorised disclosures is two years in prison.

    Thus it is that like almost everything else being broadcast and published beyond Portugal’s borders about the hunt for Madeleine, the claim that the police want to read Kate’s diary has reached its audience via Hugo Beaty’s bar.

    Every day there starts the same way shortly after it opens at 9am, with an informal briefing to the foreign Press by a locally resident British woman who normally makes a meagre living acting as an occasional interpreter ? for the Policia Judiciaria.

    Every morning, the woman ? who asked me not to publish her name ? goes through the Portuguese tabloids and translates their ever-more febrile articles.

    Every afternoon, the foreigners ? almost none of whom can speak more than the most basic Portuguese, nor claim a single, genuine source inside the police investigation ? recycle the tales for consumers abroad.

  17. Bren, this is part of what reminds me of the Kercher case: 

    “After Joana disappeared in September 2004, Leonor was arrested by the PJ in Portimao on October 14 at 8am.

    Held there and in the city of Faro without access to a lawyer, she was interrogated without sleep for 22 hours.

    Then, after a two-hour respite, she was interrogated again until 7am on October 16.”

    • Yes the sleep deprivation technique, designed to wear down the victim, whilst the cops are all fresh in order that they will say anything in order to get rest and sleep. One possible suspect up against a team of interrogators that are all fresh.

      TECHNIQUES AND THEIR EFFECTS:
      5.  Induction of Fatigue.  This is a well-known device for breaking will power and critical powers of judgment.  Deprivation of sleep results in more intense psychological debilitation than does any other method of engendering fatigue.  The communists vary their methods.  “Conveyor belt” interrogation that last 50-60 hours will make almost any individual compromise, but there is danger that this will kill the victim. It is safer to conduct interrogations of 8-10 hours at night while forcing the prisoner to remain awake during the day.  Additional interruptions in the remaining 2-3 hours of allotted sleep quickly reduce the most resilient individual . 

  18. I just stumbled on this PT blog. I’ve only skimmed through one page so far.  I don’t claim to understand every word, but they were discussing the Portuguese system and the Cipriano/McCann cases. 

    Fascinating…

    http://forumdefesa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5271&start=90&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

    • Thanks for that link Carana, I found something on page 13 about that email that Piers Merchant replied to:

      I had forgotten about that and then I found this:

      Madeleine case
      English politician says that the Portuguese police is corrupted

      By Margarida Davim

      Piers Merchant, who is an aide to the Member of European Parlament Roger Knapman, accuses the Portuguese judicial system of being “corrupted” and explains that the English government has been involved in supporting the McCanns because “Portugal has no real history of citizen’s rights and liberties or democracy”.

      Piers Merchant, an aide to the Member of European Parliament Roger Knapman, accuses the Portuguese judicial system of being “corrupted” and explains that the English government has been involved in supporting the McCanns because “Portugal has no real history of citizen’s rights and liberties or democracy”.

      To the conservative English politician, all the support that has been given to the McCann couple by the English government is justified by the need to protect their citizens from the Portuguese judicial system “which is known for being suspect”.

      The statements from Piers Merchant – from the UK Independence Party – were made as a reply to a letter that had been sent by B******* B*****, an English citizen, to the Member of European Parliament, Roger Knapman.

      In that document, which Sol was able to access, the English woman expressed her concern over the involvement of Gordon Brown in the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and questioned the statements that were made by several British ex-policemen to UK media about the alleged incompetence of the Policia Judiciaria.

      In the e-mail that she received from the MEP’s cabinet, B***** was confronted with a series of accusations to the Portuguese police and the Portuguese state. “Elements of the police are corrupt and indeed in this case the senior detective involved has been charged with corruption”, can be read in the reply.

      Confronted by Sol, the English politician reaffirmed the statements he had made in the e-mail that he sent to B******* B*****, according to which “many of the [Portuguese] police were trained under fascism and the institutions still bear the impact of this long period of dictatorship [of Salazar]”.

      In a text that contains references to Salazar and Marcelo Caetano, Merchant explains to the English citizen that “Portugal has no real history of citizen’s rights and liberties or democracy”.

      Therefore, this Conservative politician believes that the involvement of Downing Street in the case of Madeleine McCann is justified: “British citizens should be protected against an unreliable foreign system”.

      Piers Merchant devalues the worries of the English voter, concerning the loss of credibility of the Portuguese authorities in the English media, classifying the initial investigation of the disappearance as “amateurish”.

      To Sol, the aide assured that whenever he replies to the letters that are sent to the MEP he guarantees that the answers are of his responsibility: “The opinions are more mine than Knapman’s, even because I am a politician myself and stand by my ideas, but generally speaking, my ideas are very similar to his”.

      Merchant – who replied in Knapman’s name – also took the opportunity to warn the author of the letter that concerning everything she writes, “the law of defamation applies to email and the internet”, and advises her “for her own good, to be very cautious about circulating potentially high libellous statements about Kate and Gerry McCann”.

  19. And this was in the Expresso

    http://aeiou.expresso.pt/eurodeputado-britanico-tenta-minimizar-acusacoes=f166546

    In a letter, an assistant Roger Knap made serious allegations to the Portuguese police and justice under the “Maddie case”. MEP British far-right assured on Wednesday that the extracts from the letter published by the British press have been tampered with.
    12:05  WEDNESDAY, Nov. 14, 2007
    The British MEP Roger Knapman extreme right sought on Wednesday to minimize the controversy caused by a letter written by an assistant where his grave charges are made to the Portuguese police and justice under the “Maddie case”.Portuguese Speaking to journalists in Strasbourg Knapman claimed that extracts from the letter published in the British press have been tampered with. In the copy provided to reporters, however, the charges are the same: “the Portuguese judicial system is a process of interrogation in which people are denounced as suspects without any proof.”Faced with the fact that the suspect, the Portuguese court system is not synonymous with guilt and justice is governed by the principle of presumption of innocence, Knapman maintained its view: “I suspect is partly to blame,” he said. The letter was sent to a British citizen who launched a petition in the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann on 3 May, in the Algarve.The MEP, which incorporates the group’s political right-wing Independence and Democracy, argued that “for a long time there was no democracy in Portugal,” and that “the judicial system has not changed in the last 30 years.” Knapman also found that the police investigation was poorly conducted and stressed initially, to support his thesis that “a charge of the case was dismissed for incompetence.”The letter sent on Tuesday was signed by Piers Merchant, an MEP assistant who was a member of Parliament for the Conservative Party and away due to a sex scandal involving a minor of 17 years. In the letter reads that “it is important to note that Portugal has no real history of citizen’s rights, freedoms and democracy.”Allegations of Knapman and his assistant have since been repudiated by Portuguese MEPs. “The person who is talking about independence of judiciary, doing unspeakable accusations, is the same as refusing to accept the European Charter of Fundamental Rights,” said the Social Democrat Carlos Coelho.For its part, the socialist Estrela reminded that the charges “come from a party that is against Europe and an aide who has a checkered past,” reiterating his confidence in the Portuguese authorities.Criticism of Knapman yet been signed by Miguel Portas (Left Bloc) and Ilda Figueiredo (Communist). The CDS-PP MEP Jose Ribeiro e Castro has already submitted a protest to the President of the European Parliament.Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3 for a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve, where he met with two twin brothers, while her parents dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.

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