Goncalo Amaral and deaf ears

It is quite funny how people interpret things.  What someone says to one person may have a totally new meaning to others.  But I do find a lot of the time it is simply because people don’t want to hear  things for what they truly are.

They would prefer to twist and manipulate words and ignore the true meaning of what is being said, especially if it does not fit in with their line of thinking.

Take for instance, the myth of there was a cadaver in the hired car that the McCanns hired in Portugal.  Yes I suspect someone not au fait with certain terminology might easily get confused… but a Policeman… no it shouldn’t happen.  But it did.

To read Mark Harrisons Rogatory interview you begin to see that a certain officer was not comprehending what Martin Grime was saying.

It appears that after the dog searches in Praia da Luz, there was a meeting of Police Officers and Martin Grime specifically told these Police Officers, to which Goncalo Amaral was one, that the dog alerts can only be corroborated by forensic evidence.

Yes Mark Harrison states:

After the conclusion of the searches, a meeting in the Portimao offices of the PJ took place in the cabinet of Goncalo AMARAL and those present included Guilermino ENCARNACO, an official representative from the Leicestershire police, Martin GRIME and myself. During the meeting were exhibited videos with the details of search activities including the sniffer dogs lead by Martin GRIME. GRIME commented on the actions of the dogs and added that no confirmed evidence or information could be taken from the alerts by the dogs but needed to be confirmed with physical evidence.

Seems Goncalo turned a deaf ear to this and four years down the line, the theory that Madeleine was transported in the hired car is still circulating although the physical evidence in this case does NOT support that theory.

And what is even more interesting is Mark Harrison’s reply to this question.

In this particular case, based on the information and on your experience, what is the possibility that a cadaver was occulted?

To which he replied:

To this question I am not in possession of any information or sufficient knowledge to comment.

Don’t you find it strange, that Paulo Rebelo who that took over from Goncalo Amaral, understands perfectly what was said, yet Goncalo Amaral did not seem to have a clue.


The post has been corrected as it stated originally that Goncalo Amaral was at this meeting. Now it is not clear whether he was there or not or it was just a case his office was used for the meeting.

However, irrespective of whether he was there or not, him as Co-Ordindator and his team under his leadership completely ignored what Mark Harrison was saying with regards to the alerts.


23 comments on “Goncalo Amaral and deaf ears

  1. The fact that Goncalo Amaral was at that meeting where it was made clear by Grime that the dog alerts were not in themselves evidence of the death of Madeleine could well be a very significant focus for the McCanns in their libel trial against him. 

    It would seem to go a long way to proving that he must have known there was no truth in what he was writing especially as he must surely have also been aware that there was no physical evidence (which Grime insisted was needed) either.

    You have found something which would appear to be very damming against him. It will be interesting to see how he answers this serious point in court as he will be forced to do. If Duarte had not picked up on this before your post here will have ensured that she will do so now.

  2. What a brilliant observation Anon, I hadn’t even thought as far as the libel trial.  As you say if he was there and he heard exactly what Martin Grime said then proceeded to write and say what he has, then he clearly does have to explain himself.

    I do hope that Isabel Duarte has picked up on this, because it really does throw his theory right out of the window.

  3. If I’ve understood that extract correctly, the debriefing took place in GA’s office. But was he there?

    I’ve never worked out at which key moments he ever was present…

  4. “Don’t you find it strange, that Paulo Rebelo who that took over from Goncalo Amaral, understands perfectly what was said, yet Goncalo Amaral did not seem to have a clue and he was there at the meeting.”
    Hmmm. Was he actually present at the meeting?

    Beyond that, I get the impression (perhaps wrongly) that there were internal battles behind the scenes. 

    For a variety of reasons, I do believe GA should have been whisked off very early on to deal with a different type of case elsewhere (although I’m not sure that this would have been possible, depending on regulations, internal policies, etc). 

    If this had been possible and carried out, the international press would never had heard of him, individuals’ sense of honour could have been preserved … and perhaps doing so could have had a constructive impact on the investigation.

  5. Surely if he was not at the meeting his boss was and he would have relayed exactly what was said.  To be honest I am wondering the same as you, there were internal battles, between the old boys and the new boys.  The way those in power wanted the PJ to take in a modern direction and then the old boys who were dragging their heels.

    Something I read, and for the life of me I can’t remember where but it was something Sofia had said about her husband leaving and leaving with nothing.  I think it might have been in her letter to Kate McCann but I am not sure… will go hunting.

    • I’ve had loads of meetings in the offices of people who were not actually present at the time – an empty office with enough seats and a desk on which to dump documents and cups of coffee was all we needed.

      I’m sure people have had meetings in mine whilst I was travelling. LOL. That’s partly why I’m asking the question: the report doesn’t state that he was actually there. 

    • Well, someone or other may well have relayed what they understood the gist of the conversation to have been.

      I haven’t found a report to him on the contents of that meeting, have you?

    • I’ve thought there were underlying old/new school issues for ages. However, I don’t know anything about the layers of bureaucracy / autonomy, etc. 

      It may simply not have been possible to invite certain persons to conduct a different investigation elsewhere. Fast.

  6. Found it, it was not her letter to Kate it was an interview she gave Nigel Moore, she said:

    “When Gonçalo went out of the PJ door there was no one saying goodbye to him. No director. No one. After a life dedicated to the PJ, it was what most got him down,” says Sofia.


    • Well, it must be sad to think you’ve tried to work yourself up and no one says good-bye. I can understand that. 

      On the other hand, it’s not clear when his last day of work actually was ( a) he could have left early with x months severance pay due, or b) physically worked until the last day with compensation to tide over the following few months). 

      However, his book appeared fairly shortly after he left, didn’t it?

      • Yes it did, I think he left the last day of June and the book was on the shelves by the end of July, just a few days after the archiving process.

        I can’t find anything about this meeting, either by an email or internal memo.  But it appears by the looks of it those answers emerged because of Letters of Request.

  7. Here is the full article 

  8. Carana, I can’t find anything, the only thing I did find was the report of Mark Harrison dated 22.08.07 where he states this:

    During the searches two Police dogs were deployed and although it has been stated that no physical remains were located in the area these dogs did give indications in several areas. These areas have been subject to a separate forensic examination that is beyond the scope of this report and at the time of writing laboratory tests are being undertaken. The dogs’ handler has submitted a separate report regarding the performance of the dogs (see appendix 4). However, it must be stated any such indications without any physical evidence to support them can not have any evidential value, being unconfirmed indications. Additionally I consider no inference can be drawn as to whether a human cadaver has previously been in any location without other supporting physical evidence.


    Surely this report was read by GA or did he just ignore it because it was in English and hadn’t been translated?

  9. Read the bit you quoted again, Bren. Harrison doesn’t state that GA was present – only that the meeting took place in GA’s office.”After the conclusion of the searches, a meeting in the Portimao offices of the PJ took place in the cabinet of Goncalo AMARAL and those present included Guilermino ENCARNACO, an official representative from the Leicestershire police, Martin GRIME and myself.”

  10. Just reread it myself. Wondering how they communicated.

  11. This is what I am wondering Carana, in the files that report is in English.  Surely it would have had to be translated for Goncalo Amaral as he did not speak English, wouldn’t it?

    I have this impression that the reports were totally ignored by him and his team.  Either that or they didn’t fully comprehend what Mark Harrison was saying.

    • Didn’t a 3rd Harrison report appear recently? Lost the link and can’t remember what that was about.

      • Was that the one on scribd?

  12. GA says this in his book Chapter 16

    After a week of intense work, Harrison presents the results of his study to my coordinating group. Even if we were expecting it, his conclusions confirm our worst fears. The most plausible scenario is the following: there is no doubt that Madeleine is dead, and her body is hidden somewhere in the area around Praia da Luz. He praises the quality of the work carried out by the Portuguese authorities in trying to find the little girl alive. According to him, the time has come to redirect the searches in order to find, this time, a body hidden in the surrounding area.

    Now Mark Harrison says this:

    The searches described in this document were limited to certain locations. Therefore, it can not be said that the concealed remains of Madeleine McCann are not within the village of Praia da Luz.

    and then he states this:

    I am currently of the opinion on the available information and statistical datasets that if death has occurred, that it is possible that Madeleine McCann’s body has been disposed into the sea at Praia da Luz. (See my second report entitled “NPIA OP TASK Search Doc Beach and Marine”).

    I can’t find anywhere in Mark Harrison’s report where he affirms what GA says in his book.

  13. “After a week of intense work, Harrison presents the results of his study to my coordinating group.”
    Hmmm. Was he there, in person, or not? 

  14. And who was his coordinating group present at the time? 

  15. I gather Paiva was one of them.

  16. Talking about the dismissal of Amaral this is quite an interesting article into why Goncalo was removed from the investigation.  

    Will say, that  the translation is by google translator but you understand that the PJ were not happy with the lack of respect and loyalty shown to the English Police by Goncalo Amaral and how they didn’t want the working relationship between them to break down.  And Ribeiro that states categorically that this is what led to his dismissal.


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