Diário de Notícias - 30/4/2008

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Diário de Notícias - 30/4/2008

Postby Li » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:56 pm

Spanish newspaper quotes fictional police as being real

Fernanda Câncio

"We can never loose our intuition as cops, damn! We have to continue to be sly... we are not Norwegian, or Finn, damn! We are Portuguese and the Portuguese cop improvises, believes in intuition (...) We guys smoke, like to eat and drink. So what?" The quotation belongs to a text published in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, section "Chronicle" and is attributed to the "chief João Tavares", identified as one of the members of "team Maddie" from the DCI of Portimão, speaking with the "inspector Francisco Meireles". "When this conversation takes place", we can read, "5 months have passed by since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann". It is the night of 2nd of October, the day when Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the investigation. "he was removed", continues the article "because of those British that eat lettuce and try to protect the McCanns: Because Amaral, Tavares , Meireles and all the DCI group are convinced that the couple is guilty".

"Amaral, Tavares,Meireles": the three names of policemen that the journalist Aníbal Malvar, 43 years old, 13 working in El Mundo, quotes in the two pages text as being part of the " group of the DCI of Portimão",it confuses who has been following the case: if everybody knows who Gonçalo Amaral is, nobody heard about João Tavares and Francisco Meireles. Publishers ask journalists in the ground to try to identify these two officers with so much to tell about the case. The mystery is quickly solved: Tavares and Meireles only exist as characters of the book The Star of Maddie, that the ex inspector of the PJ, Paulo Pereira Cristóvão published in March. Malvar even mentions the book and his author describing the "theory" that is defended on it - and that coincides with the one that is defended by the "group" of Gonçalo Amaral: the child died and the parents and eventually their friends made the body disappear. But the Spanish journalist forgets to refer a little detail that he was quoting sentences taken from a book, speeches from fictional characters.

A "mistake" that he ends to admit to the DN: "I thought that I had identify them as characters of the book". But he guarantees, "these men exist, they are not literary characters although obviously they do not exist with those names". Malvar bases this certainty in the fact that "the book was written by an ex inspector of the PJ with direct sources in the investigation. It is obvious that Paulo Cristóvão was not writing a fictional book".

The author of the book states that he never spoke with the Spanish journalist till yesterday when this last phoned him, "asking if everything that was in the book was factual or fiction", he says that "he was completely amazed when he read in an article of a credible newspaper, policemen characters presented as real, as if they were real people", characters that he created, "reading sentences from those characters as if the journalist had heard them or somebody has told him those conversations". He considers "shameful" but he assumes "at a certain time in the dialogue with the journalist I stopped being amazed and felt sorrow. I got the idea that he was not being malice, he only wanted to shine". Apart from that, Cristóvão thinks that Aníbal Malvar "wanted to defend the Portuguese police" and he even "says good things about Gonçalo Amaral".

In fact, in his article Malvar includes the description of a meeting with Amaral, the removed inspector (that asked to retire and announces a book) and reproduces statements from that meeting, including a description of Kate McCann as being "an actress, cold and cunning".
Amaral had asked confidentiality to the journalist asking him to attribute the interview to "sources" - this is said in the text - but the journalist decided to reveal it because the inspector already asked for his retirement. Malvar that says he subscribes "Amaral's thesis" concerning the case, does not see in the exposure of the ex inspector any deontological fault although he did not spoke with him. As to Tavares and Meireles he does his mea culpa "I wanted to defend the Portuguese police and used a literary reference, to which I gave all credibility. It was an editing mistake. I apologise for writing badly the article".
http://dn.sapo.pt/2008/04/30/sociedade/ ... iccao.html
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