VOCÊ NA TV – DESAPARECIMENTO, RAPTO E ABUSO DE CRIANÇAS EM PORTUGAL
YOU ON TV – DISAPPEARANCE, KIDNAPPING AND CHILD ABUSE IN PORTUGAL
09 NOV 11 – GONÇALO AMARAL RELEMBRA O CASO DE RUI PEDRO
09 NOV 11 – GONÇALO AMARAL RECALLS THE CASE OF RUI PEDRO
Pedro From Stop the Myths
The host (Manuel Luís Goucha) words:
“Do you remember the case of Rui Pedro? Do you remember the case of Joana?
These are two cases between many others that have shocked, continues to passionate the Portuguese public opinion.
gonçalo amaral is very critical about such questions / issues, he even tells that in Portugal there are no structures capable of allowing a serious evaluation and investigation when abductions happens or when disappearances of children and teenagers happens, at least, I promise that in the next Você na TV (You at TV) gonçalo amaral talks with me”.
Full translation of Interview – Many thanks to Pedro for the translation
host: this about lives without defense that we are going to talk:
everyday there are children and youngsters mistreated, abused, explored, abandoned, victims of physical / psychological mistreatments, and there are also children and youngsters who disappears, some run from home, others are kidnapped, the most of them appears, but some were murdered, others nothing more has heard, if alive or dead, cases most dramatic were the false disappearances which pretended to hide murder and which are example the cases of Joana Cipriano and Vanessa Pereira, murdered by their own relatives, others with contours of mass murders such as the cases of the serial killer cable Costa, or also the one called king ghob, despite the success of the investigations, failed because was established later the conviction of the disappearances of several victims residents in the same geographical area, it exists several cases in which the whereabouts of children and youngsters were never determined, these are cases more old in which are pointed several initial failures about the way of conducted the respective investigations and may in a way to be determined about the destiny they had, mostly, they are archived, waiting for new leads, for despair of families, it exists one of this cases which is the paradigm until very recently of how this cases were handled, we are talking about the disappearance of the young Rui Pedro, a case that has been dragged on several years and without any explanation has lasted between 13 years to be considered arguido the main suspect for his disappearance, at the reading of the book of gonçalo amaral about this problem, it can be extracted an evident conclusion: it is urgent to create in the process of the criminal investigation a specific structure that deals exclusively about cases of disappearances to guarantee that the mistakes and omissions of the past don´t repeat it. In defense of children and youngsters of this country.
Host: and gonçalo amaral, he who has been investigator, coordinator of pj is our guest, good morning, welcome, let´s pick in some cases which are here mentioned, there are several, but cases capable of passionate the public opinion in this book of your, let´s start with the case of little joana cipriano.
More then one year that the story of joana is told, which in day 12 September around 8pm the child went out to buy tuna and milk and it was seen for the last time in the street returning home, it was a neighbor who alerted GNR, the mother only made the official complaint about the disappearance two days later, it was around that time that it was known: joana has only 8 years old and disappeared at 3 days from the village of Aldeia da Figueira near Portimao, the GNR checked fields, bridges, the nearest river, asked questions to relatives and neighbors, but nothing was achieved. The pj took the investigation in it´s hands 4 days later and the mother starts to launch appeals and pour tears: I saw only my daughter when she left to go to the supermarket, until today I don´t know if she is fine or not. I don´t know nothing of my daughter, I just asked that if someone knows her whereabouts to contact the number , she may have been taken far, someone may have killed the child, I´m suffering a lot about my daughter, missing for too long, the mystery lasted short: it is a shocking end: pj confirms that joana was murdered , mother and uncle have been arrested for involvement in murder, and the story of the crime begin to be told, according police, the child had been assaulted with violence until the death, supposedly by mother and uncle, when arrived at home after bought food. The house of the crime may hide a incestuous relation between mother / uncle, in that night joana caught them, the child threatened to tell to the stepfather and then mother and uncle hit her hard with her head in the wall until kill her, then cut the body into pieces then put the pieces in bags in a freezer then made it disappear no one know how or where, even without body, the public ministry has less doubts and accuses mother and uncle of joana of crime of murder and desecrated and hiding corpse, during the investigation it is also known that joana was under surveillance of the commission of minors protection, an affective child precisely abandoned by her mother who overloads her of work, forcing the child of 8 years to clean the house, taking care of two brothers and shopping, the case was archived 5 months before the disappearance of joana because the child had no signs of mistreat.
Host: I don´t know if I can put things in these terms, but, what have failed in the initial investigation in this case?
GA: the initial investigation failed in this case, also failed in other cases, due to a late intervention of the police, the police with competence, the pj, there are less sensibility at the time for this type of case and this is the big paradigm of these situations: how can children disappears once the alert is known, what is the intervention of the police, how the police should intervene, and the police should intervene with time, fast
Host: with time, fast, you mean immediately
GA: immediately, immediately, as soon as the news of the disappearance is known, and should be treated as if it was in cause a kidnap and using the technics of homicide in terms of inspection of the place
Host: let me
GA: the facts speaks for itself
Host: I don´t know if things meanwhile have changed, but at the date of these cases
GA: they have not changed
Host: what is regrettable, because at the date of these cases, it seemed to me as an outside citizen, that it was not considered always the idea of kidnap, never was considered as first the idea of kidnap
GA: yes, because there is a communication of pj at the year 2007 which alerted at the time for the fact of, already at one more international day of missing children disappeared in May of 2007, after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, in which it says: well, the disappearance is a crime so, the polices acted lately, not exactly: a disappearance of a child has to be, the police has to act fast, it has even to be a plan in Portugal, in other countries like USA, it exists a planning, there are structures to give answer
Host: and you say that in your book: the need of, just for this type of cases
GA: exactly, because there are several cases, saying that a child with 14, 15 years disappeared missed schools, it has with boyfriend, girlfriend, are always not considered, and that cannot be, it cannot be because that child that even has not been kidnapped, but it is missing in that family, that family has the right to have the child with them, it has the right to know where is your son or daughter, polices cannot say this is no crime we will not act
Host: but in the case of joana, which was (so it seems) no kidnap but a death in the hands of her mother, this mother gave signs of that, of those first talks with journalists, it is curious to verify in your book that even a conversation: if the journalist had been attentive it would have caught… exactly
GA: a few minutes ago, it was talking about a shirt, she says that when she returned
Host: this mother gave signs of, in those apparitions, that something serious had happened
GA: exactly, something serious had happened, and notice that only the inspection in the place was carried 12 days after the disappearance, the police already, the pj of Faro, at the time the regional section of fighting crime in action
Host: why? 12 days later?
GA: 12 days later, and it can also gather blood traces, a bucket with a mop, dirty water mixed with blood, blood of female gender
Host: the police should have started by this
GA: the police should have started by this, so, these things, the disappearances, the kidnaps, contrary to other types of, many times raises questions: it has no scene to be analyzed, in any robbery or murder we know that the body is there, there is a scene to be analyzed, in kidnap, many times is: from where the child disappeared, from house, from shop, or if it is between house and school, so, there is a area which is difficult most of times to say: to focus in one point, but there is a point in which has to be: the house, the space where the child inhabited, it cannot be unchecked, it has to be in, it has to be used the techniques of murder even if it is in cause, and we are not suspecting of parents, the technique of homicide, the inspection of the site about homicide has nothing to be failed in terms of verifying breaking of house or not, types of trace, we have to gather everything, also photograph, I speak about all this in the book, not awaited 12 days, and in fact, even at the end of 12 days it was still there the freezer, the bucket with the mop, because the woman had not been careful of cleaning
Host: most of times
Host: it is obvious, I´m going to remember one more time: in many cases the enemy is inside the house, let´see the Vanessa case. This girl was killed by her father and by her grandmother.
Reporter: it has been awaited for this moment for hours the neighbors of Aleixo from where Vanessa was installed with grandmother, six months before die, until that she lived with godmother, she was 5 years and was found floating at Douro river 4 days after according accusation of being burned with boiling water . Vanessa had with 30 % of body burned and died because lack of medical assistance, the father and grandmother are accused of homicide, continued mistreatments and hiding corpse. The aunt of 20 years is also accused of denying assistance because she watched everything and did nothing, in the court, the grandmother denied the aggressions and guaranteed that Vanessa burned herself opening the child far from the eyes of grandmother the hot water tap. Aurora Pinto cannot however explained other marks of older burns supposedly made by a iron cooking, these the aunt admitted that it was the father and grandmother who did it and that Vanessa was a victim of above all mistreatments including bath with cold water, about who had dumped the body in the river, the grandmother says: all of them, her daughter was not there, these were some of the contradictions of the two arguidas
Agostinho Silva: The contradictory principal is part of our accusing structure, the court in function of that, creates the conviction of evidence, as you know the arguidos are not under oath, they may lie without any prejudice for them.
I´m not going to say any kind of declaration.
Carlos Duarte: The reality are completely opposed, so, someone is lying, now I don´t know who is lying and with what purpose.
Reporter: the father of Vanessa will talk next session, day 28th March, this beyond the statements was marked by the tears of the three arguidos.
Host: I would like to ask if some of those persons at the door of court shouting, were at the time neighbors and if they didn´t listened the girl during hours and hours screaming and if they did something because it happens most of time. And here, we all are called, mainly the neighbors. And in this case, what have failed?
GA: Look, this case have, there is here an important aspect: both Vanessa and Joana were already accompanied by minors protection, notice that in both cases ,this is interesting: a postcard is being sent to home saying that the social security will go there in day something, and then when it arrives there, everything is clean, in Joana´s house, was Joana´s who did the cleaning, until the social security arrives, subjected with those works with 8 years of age, while the mother was there with her cigars and thinking about her life, and in other cases is also the same, they arrived there, despite accompanied, and so the minors protection commission had some careful to, the final result was that: the death, so, the commission still today have the problem of detecting but then, truly detect these cases of child in risk
Host: in some cases, children are returned to the person who later kills it.
GA: exactly, but in this latest case, it existed a litigation about the custodian of the child, and so, it had been pointed the deliver, much earlier, much earlier. I know that and it is in the book, a report has been made, the case was studied, some measures were taken…
Host: this is this case. Exactly. The failure starts much earlier. This book is “putting the finger in several wounds”.
GA: No, no, the issue is: what is wrong, what can be done to change
Host: now you, while pj tried to in your area to change a bit the situation?
GA: I did, we did, we did, notice that in the Joana case that has been done, also in the Madeleine McCann case, we tried to do that, we tried more, we tried to do one thing as soon as the Joana case which was a studied case: why pj has not studied this case? That is a criticism, it was a important criticism, notice, there is a guide of supporting families, missing children, long term disappeared, which is built in the USA with cops, social security technicians, relatives of missing children, which don´t know about their whereabouts, here in Portugal nothing of that has been carried. The pj has not yet the careful of, it should have, the attempt of reuniting all the cops who are technicians, people who worked during years in several cases, to reunite them, even with relatives, let´s thinking, let´s see what is wrong, what is possible to do it again, I wrote some ideas there, I´m not the truth of a, I´m not saying that this is true, this is my opinion, now, there are others to give their opinions.
Host: Let´s go to the case of Cable Costa, a person above any suspicion, and here the deaths were teens youngsters.
Reporter: antónio luís costa, 54 years, married, father of two sons, retired GNR, when June last year, was arrested by suspicion of killing the teens disappeared in Santa Comba Dão, the population hardly believed, that a respectful, peaceful neighbor was the author of the crimes.
Isabel Isidoro disappeared in May 2005, the body was found one week later in the beach of Figueira da Foz, but a year later identified.
Mariana Lourenço disappeared in October 2005, 8 months needed to find the corpse in the river Mondego.
Joana Oliveira, disappeared in May 2006, found one month later in Aguieira dam.
The three victims had ages between 18 / 19 years, were neighbors of Costa, who knows them from their childhood.
The accusation admits sexual motives for the crimes. When arrested, he admitted the crimes, participated in the reconstitution, later he contradicted himself pointing the uncle of one of the victims for the crimes, together with homicide, hiding / desecrated bodies, he is also accused of lying defamation.
Host: about costa, one of the things that was mentioned, is the fact of murders in one year, then one year passed, others. No relation made.
GA: nor a relation is made,the way pj acted is only when the one with 16 disappears, and that issue, the question is: when a disappearance happens,
Host: what about the regulation of only 48 hours passed, the police can act from that moment forward?
GA; but that is not for cases of, that regulation doesn´t exist. It also talks that dogs only acted 48 hours passed, none of that is true. Because such apparent cause doesn´t existed, the pj only acted when the one with 16 disappeared, the issue is: what if pj acted immediately, prevented the next deaths? What happened if one of the victims relatives installed a complaint against the state for nothing done? It would be interesting to see such discussion. But the work of pj was exceptional in that case like also in others such has the Lourinhã, but about king ghob, only acted when the youngest disappeared. It could also prevented other deaths.
Host: let´s go to Rui Pedro. A case that continues to passionate, also because there is a desperate mother who continues to feed the dream of one day embrace this son. It is 12 or 13 years.
Reporter: Rui Pedro disappeared in 1998, 13 years later the case is handled to justice, in the court of Lousada the instructive decision read by the Judge has no doubts: Afonso Dias will go to trial, the only arguido of the case, accused of kidnapped of the minor at the time of the facts with 11 years, for the family of Rui Pedro, the rebirth of a new hope in the investigations.
Rui Pedro´s mother: I just wanted to say that this is an indication of, an indication of, a awakening of a new hope.
Reporter: the decision of the magistrate taking in account the arguments presented at the instruct debate which considered that the proof of the public accusation based on several witnesses is solid and coherent and for that the case will have to be solved in court. The lawyer of Rui Pedro´s family requests the condemnation of the arguido, the lawyer of the family of Rui Pedro, Ricardo Sá Fernandes goes further, he wants to know what really happened to Rui Pedro in the day of 4th March 1998.
Ricardo´s words: we expect more then the condemnation of this arguido, to know what happened to Rui Pedro, that is very clear, the parents of Rui Pedro, what they all know is to know what happened to Rui Pedro.
The lawyer of the arguido considers that there are no fundamental proofs and so believes in the absolution of the arguido: the indications are not enough for condemnation, it has to have proofs for his condemnation, this will be solved.
Reporter: 13 years later, the Rui Pedro´s case arrives at court, Afonso Dias risks a prison sentence which can be between 3 to 10 years of jail.
Host: 13 years later, goes to trial the main suspect.
GA: and goes to trial for kidnap, according to evidences existed 13 years ago, this is an example, I choose this case as an example of what is still to be done
Host: this is paradigmatic
GA: it is a fact. This is a case in which in the early hours discusses inside pj if it is kidnap, if it isn´t, the uncle of Rui Pedro goes to police to present
Host: he is completely banalized about everything he tells.
GA: only the public ministry can order them to act, the pj with the discussion about being a kidnap or not, lost hours, it allows that the fact of pj not intervened, allows the suspect, the main suspect to be confronted with relatives at GNR post, in which, from that moment on, he keeps his mouth shut, in terms of criminal technique investigation this could never happened, that suspect could never been allowed to confronted with the way that it was. The GNR made what the local police thought it was best to do
Host: what is missing here: a kind of, a certain formation to deal with
GA: exactly, that´s what is being told
Host: this is very worrying.
GA: it´s just, besides create that special unit, and were created special units in national structures in the pj, for negotiators which exists, when PSP already has it, and that is not justifiable, there are not many cases with hostages, telling that the cases of disappearances are few, they are what they are, 70 or 80 but they are many, it doesn´t matter, and the formation , the formation of those persons, specific for that, to investigate the disappearances, kidnaps, false kidnap, false allegations of kidnap, whatever is in cause, and existed a plan, it as to have a planning, to allow investigations to become more effective, it cannot, this cannot, and in the case of Rui Pedro, following the report of the uncle which is at the site of the association of Portuguese missing children which tells that during those hours that really happened. It can be achieved from that moment data collected meanwhile which are in the process, and how, how, talks with people in the process, that is public, to chose a timeless line in which the pj acted late, and that was important, notice that the reconstitution is suspicious
Host: but, in all these cases, the pj acted very late
GA: yes, yes,
Host: four cases that pj acted late, because there are more
GA: yes, from those we talked until now, but it is cases from abroad, not exactly in Portugal, about Portugal let me tell you, what happens here happens also abroad, take a look at the Cordoba case, it was necessary to come from Madrid saying there is a illegal question which is another issue: what to do when no body appears, that person responsible, but, in the case of Rui Pedro, only 5 years later, 5 years later a reconstitution has been made, a reconstitution of facts which the same suspects, the afonso, when she should be done immediately at the time, in the beginning, and you know what happened in that reconstitution? At a certain time the guy was two hours staring in a pharmacy in a certain town and those data were picked up much later, much later talked with the doctor of Rui Pedro and so on, such issues
Host: if pj acted swiftly and effective, what could have been avoided, could have been found Rui Pedro? We are…
GA: Of course, perhaps it has been avoided such show of 13 years, and this pain that endures 13 years without knowing
Host: what about the fact of show days, but it as to be with the fact of some of these cases being a media frenzy, harms?
GA: the Joana case, at a certain point became a show.
Host: which can be foam.
GA: everybody saw the media show, the police must to know to have a rear and to know to analyze all information that comes, the investigators are on the ground, and they cannot be worried about what may appears in the tv´s, internet, newspapers, to have a rear, facing that analysis of information, which is important to analyze in the case of Joana, what she told at that time that the child had returned home, is the journalist which interrupts and says: no, no she didn´t returned, that is important.