Evening Folks - Okay, back to the book
This section covers events just before the arguido status was applied. Kate had attended for interview at the PJ headquarters. She is not yet an arguida at this stage
At 5pm, we had a fifteen-minute break, which I spent standing in the corridor outside the interrogation room. Carlos came over and told me not to be so definite in some of my answers. He was referring, apparently, to a couple of claims by witnesses put to me by the questioning officer: allegations that they had seen Gerry or me doing this or that.Does anyone else find this surprisingly vague?
I have noticed that there are times when Kate's determination to 'capture everything' deserts her somewhat, just as it did when the question of the cancelled reconstruction came up. There seems to be a rush to brush something aside, sweep it under the carpet
"This or that" - such as? She seems reluctant to go into detail
One thing worth pointing out at this stage is that there is nothing in the PJ file to account for these 'witnesses', which to me suggests they were UK witnesses, questioned by the UK police, not as part of the rogatory process, and by the very nature of their contact with the police, their testimonies are not in the public domain
As these claims were untrue, I had said so. I couldn’t understand why, as long as I was certain a statement was wrong, I shouldn’t refute it.So what does her lawyer mean, here, when he apparently says she ''shouldn't be so definite in some of her answers'?
Although Carlos’s stance bothered me, I tried to take his guidance on board. But it did rather undermine my confidence.Now I find this puzzling too. If she was so certain, why take his guidance on board? To what was he referring?
If someone said to you "Did you shoot this man?" and you didn't, would you reply "No, I didn't" or "I don't know - what angle was he shot from?"
There is something underlying this passage of key significance, I think. Is it because an outright denial would close the door on a lesser charge? I really don't know.
Back at the villa, Carlos informed me, as Ferreira had indicated, that he needed to speak to Gerry and me in private. We sat down in the sitting room with Carlos, and Sofia, Eileen and Trisha left us to it. Carlos still looked very concerned. There was a great deal we needed to discuss, he told us. He reiterated that the situation was not good. The PJ had a lot of ‘evidence’ against us, and I was certain to be made an arguida in the morning.
First he cited video footage the police had shot of the reactions of the blood and cadaver dogs in apartment 5A and also around our hire car. I would be shown this on my return to the police station, he said. Presumably repeating what he had been told by the PJ, he explained how samples from both these sites had revealed Madeleine’s blood and one of them indicated a 15 out of 19 match with her DNA.I was totally perplexed. Although this news, if true, seemed to add weight to the possibility that Madeleine had at the very least been physically harmed, unusually I didn’t dwell too much on the frightening implications. I can only assume this was because what we were being told didn’t make sense. If, as the PJ alleged, Madeleine’s blood was in the boot of our car, which we had not rented until 27 May, how on earth had it got there? Did this mean someone had planted it? I could see no other explanation. The police theory, it seemed, was that we had hidden Madeleine’s body, then moved it later, in the car, and buried it elsewhere.As always, Kate goes straight to the car. I can't find a single example where either of them has responded to the dog alerts in the apartment.
My position would be : Forget about the car; what about the alerts in the flat? Because they don't seem to want to discuss them
Next came the matter of a crumpled page the police said they had discovered in my borrowed Bible. It seemed this was felt to be highly significant because the passage on that page, in II Samuel 12, dealt with the death of a child. I knew nothing about any pages being crumpled, let alone in which part of the Bible. The fact that I had asked to see a priest on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance was also seen as evidence of guilt. What? I was beginning to find my credulity stretched to breaking point. ‘Don’t people in Portugal talk to priests in times of need?’ I asked Carlos. Apparently not. They only called for a priest when they wanted their sins to be forgiven. Good grief. This was definitely not the faith with which I was familiar.Oh yes it is.
It is not normal for catholics to call out a priest in the middle of the night to ''pray with them''
You call a priest if you need a sacrament. Such as the last rites, or confession
A witness claimed to have seen Gerry and me carrying a big black bag and acting suspiciously. This was absolute nonsense, but ‘evidence’ of this kind came down to one person’s word against another.
Did they indeed? Word of advice - never say "It's his word against ours" when you are the one with the missing 3 year old
And it appeared that, as far as the PJ were concerned, our word counted for little.I think that throwaway line is significant. I believe it indicates that the PJ believed they had an eyewitness to the pair of them carrying a bag.
‘If you were Portuguese,’ Carlos said with an air of resignation, ‘this would be enough to put you in prison.’The only conclusion I could draw was that we’d been framed, though this seemed completely implausible.It is
I'm going to throw something out there
If a witness did make this claim, and we have to assume they did, then I think we also have to assume that they were a witness from outside Portugal and probably from the UK. The existence of any such evidence would not have been permitted to be included with the released PJ files unless it was given directly to the PJ or an agreement existed between the force who did collect any such evidence. And the PJ would not have been able to speak of it.
I do recall at the time a report did briefly appear, claiming that they had been seen, if my memory serves, placing a bag in a bin at the supermarket, but I have never been able to locate the report, so I'm guessing it could have been pulled
Faced with something like this, way beyond the sphere of your experience, it is natural to dismiss it as impossible, but that doesn’t mean it is. When I thought about all that had happened so far, maybe anything was possible. In any event, it seemed we’d underestimated the magnitude of the fight we had on our hands. Even our own lawyer appeared to think, based on what he’d been told, that the police had a good case against us.I think this is also significant. Would a disputed lab result constitute a good case? Maybe not on it's own. But a lab result plus an eyewitness seeing you with a big bag? That's a tricky one
I could see by this time that Gerry was starting to crack.Then came the best bit. Carlos announced what the police had proposed. If we, or rather I, admitted that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment, and confessed to having hidden and disposed of her body, the sentence I’d receive would be much more lenient: only two years, he said, as opposed to what I’d be looking at if I ended up being charged with homicide.Pardon? I really wasn’t sure if I could possibly have heard him correctly. My incredulity turned to rage. How dare they suggest I lie? How dare they expect me to live with such a charge against my name? And even more importantly, did they really expect me to confess to a crime they had made up, to falsely claim to the whole world that my daughter was dead, when the result would be that the whole world stopped looking for her? This police tactic might have worked successfully in the past but it certainly wasn’t going to work with me. Over my dead body. ‘You need to think about it,’ Carlos insisted. ‘It would only be one of you. Gerry could go back to work.’I was speechless.Hmmmm
I don't think I would be speechless
I think my question would be "Well, to admit to that would mean admitting where I put the body - and I have no idea where the body is, so how is that going to work out?"
The incentive to accept this ‘offer’ seemed to be that if we didn’t agree to it, the authorities could or would go after us for murder, and if we were found guilty, we might both receive life sentences. Was this what it came down to? Confess to this lesser charge or risk something much worse?Gerry was distraught now. He was on his knees, sobbing, his head hung low. ‘We’re finished. Our life is over,’ he kept saying over and over again. The realization that we were at the mercy of an incomprehensible criminal justice system had hit him hard. It was excruciating to see him like this.Okay, maybe it's just me, again, but my response would not be "Oh woe is me, we're finished" it would be "Hang on, this is bollocks. I am not having this"
Otherwise, films like the Shawshank Redemption would just consist of a man wailing "OMG I'm finished" and never bothering to wade through shit.