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Leonor Cipriano (Part I) - A Policeman's Story

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Leonor Cipriano (Part I) - A Policeman''s Story

Post  Guest on Tue 19 May - 6:58

This Friday, May 22, at 2.00 p.m. local time, the court in Faro is scheduled to hand down its verdict in the case involving the five current and former PJ inspectors accused of crimes in relation to the alleged beating of Leonor Cipriano. I doubt that this will be the end of that case, as in Portugal I believe either side has the right to appeal the verdict.

Even though everything will not be resolved next Friday, in my opinion this will be an extremely important moment not only in the long, sad, sorry saga of the Cipriano case, but also involving Maddie's disappearance. For one thing, I believe that even the stupid gits in the British press will be forced to stop bringing it up in connection with Goncalo Amaral if he is acquitted, and an acquittal, even if an appeal is subsequently filed by the government, will free him up to devote even more time to publicising his version of events regarding Maddie's disappearance. For another, if the verdict is for acquittal, I should not be surprised to see Paulo Pereira Cristovao come out swinging also. He has already written a book, which he categorised as fiction but which makes it quite plain that he has sources inside the PJ and that he also believes that Madeleine is dead.

As an ex-copper myself, I cannot think of any two people in the world that I would rather have on my side in a fight.

I am reading and translating Paulo Pereira Cristovao's non-fiction book about the Joana Cipriano case, A Estrela de Joana; at present I'm about 2/3 through it. It's in Portuguese, so it's going slowly. There were some things that I had read about what happened to Leonor Cipriano that I had never seen sourced that are explained in Cristovao's book. So, what actually happened to Leonor Cipriano inside the Faro Directorate of the PJ on that October night in 2004? I will be posting about this case throughout the week, but just a few things that I think are important and worth mentioning:

(1) Both Leonor and Joao Cipriano had already confessed to killing Joana before the three PJ inspectors from Lisbon (Cristovao, Marques Morgada Leonel and Paulo Marques Bom) ever arrived in the Algarve. The problem was that Joao Cipriano, Joana's uncle, kept leading the PJ on wild goose chases around the countryside, claiming that he could not remember where he had put Joana's body. Cristovao, Leonel, and Marques Bom were not sent to Faro to find out whether or not Joana was dead or alive; they already knew she was dead. They were sent to see if they could do anything to help the local police find her body.

(2) A forensic specialist named Teresa Magalhaes testified at the trial that the bruises on Leonor Cipriano’s body appeared to have been made on at least two different occasions, and that the most recent ones appeared to have been no more than two days old when they were photographed. She also said, “Those lesions [in the photographs of Leonor’s body] are not caused by a fall from stairs. It would be very difficult for lesions on the face and in the abdominal area to occur if this was a fall from the stairs.” But Cristovao says that Leonor was not trying to throw herself down the stairs, as one might automatically think; she was trying to throw herself over the banister on the second floor and, in effect, launch herself into oblivion. And the three inspectors from Lisbon who are accused of allowing Leonor to be “aggressed” had been in Faro for only two days when the alleged beating happened. So who or what would have been responsible for the older bruises?

On the night when Leonor says she was beaten, Cristovao had just finished interviewing her and had confronted her with some of the forensic evidence that had been found in a search of the Cipriano home. There were pictures of Joana in the interview room, and Leonor broke down crying and began apologising to her daughter.

Cristovao concluded the interview and turned Leonor over to another inspector to take her to another room whilst he wrote up one of the “Service Information” memos (which we have also seen in the Maddie McCann case) that the PJ uses to record some types of information other than witness statements.

About an hour later he heard hysterical screaming coming from the hallway and ran outside to find two PJ inspectors, Antonio Cardoso and Paulo Marques Bom, holding onto Leonor on the landing of the stairway. They had allowed her to go to the bathroom by herself, there apparently being no female officer on duty, and when she came out of the bathroom, she ran towards the stairway and tried to throw herself over the banister. This does not appear to have been mere histrionics on Leonor’s part: Cristovao looks over the banister and realizes that, since they are on the second floor and there is also a basement, it might very well have been a fatal fall had Leonor succeeded.

Think about it: The forensic expert testified that one would not expect lesions on the face and in the abdominal area to occur from a fall down the stairs. But that isn’t what Cristovao says happened. If you launched yourself full tilt at the banister of a stairwell, intending to throw yourself OVER it and into thin air, where would you be bruised? Almost certainly on the abdomen, and it would seem to me that it would not be at all surprising if, whilst being wrestled away from the stairway, you might also hit your head.

(3) Cristovao also says in his book that after the incident on the stairwell, Leonor was driven back to the women’s prison at Odemira by PJ inspectors Antonio Cardoso and Carlos Praxedes. En route, they call Cristovao and say that Leonor’s head is swelling and ask what to do. He tells them to take her to the medical center in Odemira before going on to the prison, which they do. A doctor sees Leonor about 20 minutes later, tells Leonor to rest, and that gravity should make the blood in her bruises drain harmlessly into her neck. He gives her a prescription for painkillers, and the two PJ inspectors, with Leonor in the back seat of the car, drive around Odemira till they find an open pharmacy where they can get the prescription filled before returning Leonor to the prison.

I have not seen a medical record from the clinic, but there should be one, and this would be so easily checked that Cristovao would be crazy to lie about it.

One thing is for sure: His story makes more sense than Leonor’s tale of having a bag put over her head and being beaten for more than an hour by unknown individuals (she could not identify her alleged assailants in a line-up). I simply do not see how that would be possible without breaking the victim’s teeth, splitting her lip, bloodying or breaking her nose, or leaving bruises below the level of her cheekbone.

To be continued. . .

_________________
"If not today, or if it takes a thousand years, this little girl will have to be found."

Former Chief Inspector Leonel Marques of the PJ, speaking of Joana Cipriano and quoted by Paulo Pereira Cristovao in his book, A Estrela de Joana.



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Re: Leonor Cipriano (Part I) - A Policeman's Story

Post  Susan on Tue 19 May - 20:32

I really do hope Amaral and the other policemen get off this pathetic charge.....

How dare the McCanns use up the fund money to try and ruin his good name! But you know what....they know he'll get off so thats why they have commenced with this suing nonsense!

Oh well....their time will come!

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