Carlos Anjos, President of the PJ's Union ASFIC:
What does this say about laughing, smirking, suing, Gerry McCann? Madeleine's own father?
This was the most important evidence in the case in Portugal recently and I believe, what the Portuguese Judge hearing it will be most influenced by. He was the lawyer in charge of the case, he does not exaggerate or cogitate, he only states the facts. H
11:23 : It is the attorney who was in charge of the original inqury into Madeleine's disappearance, Jose Magalhaes e Menezes
11:25 : His testimony is marred by a high-pitched whine of feedback from the microphone - and the fact the screen can't be seen by the public
11:26 : The McCanns can't see the person giving evidence. Mr Amaral can, but doesn't seem to be looking at him. This indicates to me that although (perhaps) Goncalo had summonsed Mr Menezes to give evidence on his behalf, he knew he would not be particularly supportive of Goncalo's insistence there was evidence of "death".
11:26 : Mr Amaral's lawyer is cross-examining the witness.
11:37 : Mr Menezes is saying that English police sniffer dogs were brought to Portugal to help in the search for Madeleine.
11:38 : He says that the decision to make the McCanns 'arguidos' - suspects - was taken by the police and then confirmed by the public attorney.
11:39 : The decision to designate Kate and Gerry as 'arguidos' was taken after the sniffer dogs carried out their searches.
11:40 : There were several possible charges that could have been brought against the McCanns: kidnapping and selling a child were among them. s. This clearly suggests to me that the prosecutor actually believes it is more likely this is what the McCanns did with Madeleine.
11:48 : The witness was asked what the probability was of Madeleine still being alive. He replied that he thought it was 50/50. This clearly implies that he thinks it is at least as likely that Gerry carried Madeleine off alive, as I do.
11:55 : Mr Menezes said that a claim made by the McCanns on the first day after Madeleine's disappearance was not true
11:57 : He claimed that although the parents had been checking on Madeleine, it was not as often as every 30 minutes Both of these comments confirm that the prosecutor is perfectly happy to say quite categorically, the McCanns have told lies, and the McCanns are not challenging this statement.
11:56 : The witness said that Kate and Gerry's report that they had been checking on their daughter every half an hour was inaccurate
12:01 : Police intercepted text messages sent by the McCanns because they were suspicious of the parents' role in Madeleine's disappearance. Suspicious of "their role" in Madeleine's disappearance, he is not saying they killed her although that could clearly be included.
12:02 : The text messages sent by Kate and Gerry were never admitted as evidence gathered as part of the investigation. It is unfortunate we do not get an explanation as to why they were not admitted but I would suggest that is because they are admissible in a British court and the decision had been taken to deal with the McCanns in UK. As a prosecutor he would have been involved in this and his position would not allow him to offer any comment in a public hearing in a civil court.
12:08 : Mr Menezes said he has not read the book written by Mr Amaral that triggered this case, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie. He is not a close and supportive friend of Goncalo Amaral that much is obvious. Neither did he think he could learn anything by reading it but that is hardly surprising given the knowledge he obviously has which would be far more than Mr Amaral.
12:18 : A report signed by Chief Inspector Tavares De Almeida said that Madeleine died in the flat in Praia da Luz, the witness adds. He is merely confirming Mr Almeida wrote this report but is not confirming or denying the content of it or offering any opinion at all on the content of it.
12:19 : Now it's the turn of the McCanns' legal team to cross-question the witness.
12:24 : The McCanns' lawyer makes the point that 'evidence' usually sightings - has suggested Madeleine is still alive
12:25 : He says that the McCanns are not responsible for generating any of this 'evidence' that their daughter is not dead. I am assuming this is a comment by the McCanns' lawyer and really it would have been better if he had not said it because it is utterly damning to the McCanns given it clearly implies there is suspicion against them that they are responsible for false sightings of Madeleine. He let a new cat out of the bag we had not heard before!
12:26 : Another of the McCanns' lawyers moves to quiz the witness - literally. She gets out of her seat and walks right up to the video screen This clearly implies total panic in the McCann's legal team at this point. I am assuming the male lawyer who just made the above pretty serious gaffe is junior to Ms Duarte who it would appear sprang to her feet.
12:33 : She says that the McCanns were always totally prepared to come back to Portugal to take part in a reconstruction of the disappearance This is a typical remark for a desperate lawyer to come out with, say something good about your client that cannot be argued with. Of course, what she does not mention is, the McCanns friends refused point blank to come back for the reconstruction so that put paid to it without the McCanns seeking to defy Portuguese Police (given they were arguidos they had no choice but to attend) They defied them in a more subtle way with a little help from their friends.
12:34 : The McCanns' lawyer asks the witness whether he understands the title of Mr Amaral's book to imply some sort of dishonesty by the McCanns. That is the problem with this, we are getting questions but not answers and vice versa on occasions where the writer could not keep up with the exchange.
12:38 : Who suggested the checking of the McCanns' text messages, Mr Menezes is asked. The police, he replies. This was a dumb question for the McCanns lawyer to ask, in my opinion. I suppose she hoped the answer would be Goncalo Amaral because she wants to imply this one officer was just victimising the McCanns. As it is, all she has done is draw attention to the fact the police were so suspicious of the McCanns they were intercepting their communications with a view to obtaining evidence against them.
12:39 : The text messages were never considered as part of the investigation because the judge did not allow it, the court hears So here he is telling us that Portuguese Judges refused to admit this evidence as part of the investigation. This may inform us as to why he states the McCanns could have been charged with kidnap and trafficking. Remember Gerry received 14 text messages the day before Madeleine disappeared and four the day after, all of which he wishes to completely deny. I believe this does confirm that it had been decided there was strong evidence to indicate Madeleine may have been kidnapped, may still be alive, it may have been arranged by the McCanns and for her safety this MUST BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. British Police confirm this investigation is ongoing. I believe that Portuguese Judges knew exactly what was suspected against the McCanns, knew the British would deal with this and internationally, and Goncalo Amaral just had to be stopped, including leaks to the press when he was in charge of the investigation. Why else would Portuguese Judges, seemingly be deliberately frustrating the investigation. In my opinion they were not, they were preserving the confidentiality of the investigation and thereby the safety of Madeleine.
12:45 : The senior lawyer for the McCanns has approached them on the front bench of the public gallery for a quick huddled conversation. This demonstrates just how crucial this evidence was, she was seeking further instructions from her clients. It might have been something along the lines do you wish me to ask him any further questions, clearly they did not!!
There is so much that is incredibly damaging to the McCanns that has come out of this court hearing. I believe there is a very strong chance that when Mr Smith saw Gerry carting Madeleine off she was drugged but still alive. Gerry feels he can sue Goncalo Amaral for saying they disposed of her body because maybe that is not what he did. Thus he reasons, I have been libelled and I want money. But it just shows what a perverted and arrogant fool he is to open such a nasty can of worms.