Praia da Luz, 03 May 2007, just before 10:00pm
The Smith family, from Ireland are returning to their apartment after a night out. As they walk, they pass a man carrying a child in his arms. The man averts his eyes from them to signal that he does not wish to speak. Four months later, back in Ireland, the Smith family are watching TV. They see the McCanns return to the UK and observe Gerry McCann alight the aeroplane and walk across the tarmac with a sleeping Sean in his arms. The father, Martin Smith, is shocked. He recognises the way the man turns his head down and the way the child is being held against the shoulder. It is exactly the same as the man he saw on the streets of Praia da Luz, four months earlier.
Reference to the sighting in the PJ's 57-page report summary
'Further on this issue, the testimony of MARTIN SMITH was considered, pages 1606 and following, reporting the sighting of an individual carrying a child, in one of the streets that lead to the beach. It was said that the child could be MADELEINE McCANN, although it was never peremptorily stated. Some time later, the witness alleged that, by its stance, the individual who carried the child could be GERALD McCANN, which was concluded when he saw him descending the stairs from an airplane, pages 2871, 3991 and following and 4135 and following. It was established that at the time that was being mentioned, GERALD McCANN was sitting at the table, in the Tapas Restaurant.'
Gonçalo Amaral speaks to IOL PortugalDiário, 03/04 August 2008
PortugalDiário: The PJ's report dismisses the Smiths' testimony, due to the hour at which they say they saw the person with the child…
Gonçalo Amaral: 'It cannot be that way, because nobody knows for sure at what time the things happened. The reconstruction was not made, therefore it is impossible to know for certain. The employees do not state that Gerry McCann was in the restaurant. They only say that people were sitting down and getting up from the table. Their testimony [Smith] is very credible. The way that the person walked, the clumsy manner in which the child was held. It is nothing that sounds invented. Is it evidence? Certainly not. It is information that has to be worked further.'
Summary from 'A Verdade Da Mentira' ('The Truth of the Lie' by Gonçalo Amaral) - Chapter's 8 & 21 - The sighting by the Smith family
Text: "Rua da Escola Primária, the location where the Smith family (black arrow) crosses paths with a man who was walking down the street (red arrow) carrying a child, on the 3rd of May 2007, at around 10 p.m." Photograph courtesy of Gonçalo Amaral, 'The Truth of the Lie'.
Chapter 8 - A man carrying a child on the way to the beach - pages 111-114
30 July 2008
- The Smith family, from Ireland, is in Luz for holidays, staying at their own holiday apartment; four adults and 5 children: the father (retired, 58) his wife, his son (23 yr old) and daughter-in-law and their two children (ie, Mr Smith's grandchildren), his daughter (12), two additional grandchildren, 10 and 4, of another daughter back in Ireland.
- approx 21h55, they are returning from "Kelly's Bar", heading north, all spread out along the street - they pass a man walking down the middle of the street, carrying a child, with the head against his left shoulder and the arms hanging down alongside the body, in light colored or pink pyjamas, bare feet, pale skin typical of British and blond, shoulder-length hair; the girl is about 3-4 years old, about 1 meter tall.
- The man is not dressed like a tourist; he's wearing cream or beige trousers, classic cut, of linen or cotton. He is white, 30-35 yrs, 1.70-1.80 meters tall, average build, physically fit, short, brown hair, with a face that looks tanned.
- Images of Robert Murat begin to circulate around the world
- Back in Ireland, the Smiths watch the news and learn of Jane's statement and the suspicions falling upon Murat. - The father contacts the Irish police. He tells his story. The man he saw was NOT Murat. He knows Murat and it was not him.
- The father is almost certain that the girl he saw was Madeleine. - The Smiths are secretly brought back to Portugal. On Saturday, 26 May, in Portimão, Smith and his two children are interviewed.
- Their testimony is credible, but given the lack of light in the area, they can't identify the man who was carrying the child.
- They described the way he walked and carried her; this image is strongly fixed in their memory.
Chapter 21 - An Irish family in shock - pages 197-199
- Sept 2007, McCanns return to UK
- Gerry exits the plane, carrying his son against his left shoulder, the child's arms down along his sides, down the stairs and across the tarmack Gerry walks
- The Smith family see this recording on the news at 22h00 and are hit hard: they know this person, this way of carrying a child and of walking. It is Gerry McCann, they believe with a high degree of certainty, that they saw on 3 May at about 22h00, carrying a 4 yr old girl who appeared to be deeply asleep
- The father contacts the police to communicate this new information. He says he has not slept since 9 Sept and is very upset. It's as if he re-lived the night he saw the man carrying the child. Seeing Gerry walk and carry the child, awoke something in his head... - Still not completely convinced, he watches the news again on ITV and also on Sky. - No, there are no doubts. Gerry McCann looks just like the same person he saw carrying the child on May 3. - Smith, upset and worried about what he saw and has concluded, needs the investigators to contact him
- In late September, the Portuguese police receive this information from Smith. This appears to be a piece of the puzzle
- Now Jane Tanner's insistence at seeing the abductor go the other direction makes sense, removing attentions from the way Gerry walked, in the direction of the beach. The man carrying a child didn't walk east towards Murat's house, but west in the direction of the Smiths.
- This puzzle piece allows the investigators to reconstruct what happened on that cold night of 3 May. The puzzle is almost complete.
- We make the decision to bring the Smiths back to Portugal. They will be heard, and in legal and procedural terms, will give their identification using televised images, since a personal identification [of Gerry] is out of the question.
- A reconstitution of that night, with the Smiths, is seriously considered.
- But the Smiths don't return to Portugal.
- The Portuguese police changed their minds after GA leaves the team; they decide to use the international request mechanism [letters rogatory]
- This leads to absurd delays
- In the meantime, rumours abound that strangers to the investigation have found about about this witness and his family and, supposedly, have tried to talk to Smith, though their intentions in doing so are unknown.
Maps and aerial views of the Smith's sighting
Map of Praia da Luz
The McCanns' apartment was located on R. Prof. Agostinho da Silva - the Ocean Club swimming pool and the McCanns' apartment are clearly visible just below the road name on this map. The sighting by the Smith family took place on R. da Escola, which is marked on this map - just below and to the left of the Ocean Club complex. The actual point of sighting was just below the final 'a' in the 'R. da Escola' road name on this map.
Most likely route taken from Apartment 5A
This map marks in red the most likely route taken, if the man seen by the Smith family was Gerry McCann and the starting point was the McCanns' apartment. It is possible that another route may have been taken - straight down the R. Primeiro de Maio and then right into R. da Escola - but that route would have increased the likelihood of being seen, being on a main road and presumably reasonably well lit. The route above appears to offer the greater degree of privacy as it passes waste land, is not overlooked by apartments or houses and would presumably have been considerably darker than the main road.
This map shows the point at which the Smith family met and passed a man carrying a child.
The red line indicates the route of the man, the black line indicates the route of the Smith family, who were returning from Kelly's Bar.
The alternative route
This is the alternative route into R. da Escola if the man had walked straight down R. Primeiro de Maio and then turned right.
Close up of R. da Escola
This picture gives a close up of R. da Escola. The meeting took place roughly half way up this road.
The zig-zag building on the left can be clearly seen in the photograph reproduced from 'The Truth of the Lie' above.
Aerial view of possible routes
This photograph shows the two possible routes to R. da Escola, if the starting point was Apartment 5A.
The red route is the route already indicated on the map above. The yellow route is the route taken by going straight down R. Primeiro da Maio and then turning right into R. da Escola.
Jane Tanner's sighting
Height: 5' 10" (25 May 2007) 5' 8" or 5' 9" (05 June 2007) 5' 7" to 5' 11" (09 June 2007) 5' 8" to 5' 10" (26 October 2007) 5' 9" (28 October 2007) 5' 6" (16 November 2007) 'probably 5ft 8in tall, he was taller than me but not 6ft and so between those two' (19 November 2007)
Hair: Hair that was short on top (25 May 2007) Dark hair, parted to one side, slightly longer at the back (05 June 2007) Dark hair (26 October 2007) Black hair (28 October 2007) 'Hair.. the one thing that I remember a lot is the hair. He did seem to have quite a lot of dark, reasonably-long-to-the-neck hair' (19 November 2007) Skin: White (25 May 2007) Caucasian (09 June 2007) Caucasian with southern European/Mediterranean appearance (26 October 2007) 'More local or Mediterranean looking'/'swarthy skin' (19 November 2007) Top clothes: Dark jacket (25 May 2007) Dark jacket, slightly longer than a suit jacket (05 June 2007) Wearing a maroon shirt (28 October 2007) Heavy dark coat (19 November 2007)
Trousers: Beige or golden long trousers (25 May 2007) Light coloured trousers which may have been beige or mustard coloured (05 June 2007) Camel-coloured trousers (28 October 2007) 'He was wearing quite a lot of clothes and that's one thing in hindsight again I think was quite odd because tourists when they're abroad, Brits abroad would always have cropped trousers or shorts or something, and he had a sort of a big heavy jacket and trousers on' (19 November 2007) 'He was dressed in that sort of smart casual way European people dress' (19 November 2007)
Build: Medium (25 May 2007) Slim (26 October 2007)
Shoes: Dark shoes (25 May 2007) Black or brown shoes (28 October 2007)
Carrying child: 'Carrying, sort of, across the body like that. I suppose in hindsight you'd probably think somebody would carry them more against the shoulder.' (19 November 2007)
Child's description: 'I could tell it was a child, and I could see the feet and... feet and the bottom of the pyjamas, and I just thought that child's not got any shoes on because you could see the feet.' (19 November 2007)
Child's clothes: 'the pyjamas had a pinky aspect to them so you presume a girl.'
Martin Smith's sighting
Height: 175 to 180 cm tall (5’ 9’’ to 5’ 11’)
Hair: Short, brown hair
Top clothes: A darker top. The man is not dressed like a tourist
Trousers: Cream or beige trousers, classic cut, of linen or cotton
Build: Average build, physically fit
Shoes: Not specified
Carrying child: Carrying a child, with the head against his left shoulder and the arms hanging down alongside the body
Child's description: Bare feet, pale skin typical of British and blonde, shoulder-length hair; the girl is about 3-4 years old, about 1 metre tall
Child's clothes: Light coloured or pink pyjamas
Witness testimony of Martin Smith, 26 May 2007
Date of Diligence: 2007.05.06
Location: DIC Portimao
Name: MARTIN SMITH
The witness states:
• That he comes to the process as a witness.
• Being of Irish nationality, he does not understand Portuguese in its written or oral form and is accompanied by an interpreter.
• That he has an apartment in Luz, Lagos, located in the Estela da Luz Urbanizaco, A1C. This apartment is co-owned by a friend whose name is L*** O*****. He normally visits Portugal three times a year. When here, he stays in the apartment. Concerning this period, he states that he arrived in Portugal on the 30th of April, 2007, with a booked return date of May 9, 2007. He arrived at Faro airport and flew out from Dublin.
• Concerning the facts under investigation, on the 3rd of May, he went with his family to the Dolphin restaurant in Praia da Luz where they dined. Around 21H00 they left the restaurant and headed toward "Kelly's Bar"; about a 50 metre distance from the restaurant, following the path, as it is very short. The walk took him a few minutes. In "Kelly's Bar" they consumed some drinks. They left that establishment around 21H55 as his son was due to return home very early the next day. This bar is located on Calheta Street.
• After leaving the bar, he travelled in the opposite direction and reached a set of stairs which gave access to Rua 25 de Abril (25th of April Street). On this artery they followed a second street, parallel to Rua 1 de Maio (1st of May Street) whose name he does not remember. He was heading toward his apartment (Estrela da Luz complex) which is located a little above the street that crosses the primary school. As he reached this artery, he crossed an individual holding a child. He notes that it is normal to see people carrying children, especially during the holiday season. This individual was walking the downward path, in the opposite direction. He is not aware where this person was headed. He only saw him as they passed each other. He assumed it was a father and daughter and thought nothing more of it.
• Urged, states that when he passed this individual, it must have been around 22H00. He did not know at the time that a child had disappeared. He only became aware of the disappearance of the child the next morning, from his daughter in Ireland. She had sent him a message or called him regarding what had happened. At this point he thought that MADELEINE could have been the child he saw with the individual.
• Regarding the individual he states that: he was Caucasian, around 175 to 180m in height. He appeared to be about 35/40 years old. He had a normal complexion, a bit on the thin side. His hair was short, in a basic male cut, brown in colour. He cannot state if it was dark or lighter in tone. He did not use glasses and had no beard or moustache. He did not notice any other relevant details partly due to the fact that the lighting was not very good.
• He was wearing cream or beige-coloured cloth trousers in a classic cut. He did not see his shoes and cannot describe the colour or form of the same.
Photograph supplied by: Madeleine McCann Know The Truth
• He states that the child was female, about four years of age as she was similar to his granddaughter of the same age. It was a child of normal complexion, about a metre in height. The child has blonde medium-hued hair, without being very light. Her skin was very white, typical of a Brit. He did not look at her eyes. As she was asleep and her eyelids were closed.
• She was wearing light-coloured pyjamas. He cannot state with certainty the colour. She was not covered by any other cover or sheet. He cannot confirm whether she was barefoot but in his group, they spoke about the child having no cover on her feet.
• Urged, he states that the individual did not appear to be a tourist. He cannot explain this further. It was simply his perception given the individual's clothing. He states that the individual carried the child in his arms, with her head laying on the individual's shoulders to the right of the deponent. He adds that he did not hold the child in a comfortable position.
• Having already seen various photographs of MADELEINE alongside her images on television, states that she may have been the child he saw. He cannot state this as fact but is convinced that it could have been MADELEINE. Indeed, this is the opinion of his family.
• Questioned, says that the individual did not speak nor did the child as she was in a deep sleep.
• States that it is not possible to recognise the individual in person or by photograph.
• Adds that in May and August of 2006, he saw ROBERT MURAT in Praia da Luz bars. On one of these occasions, he was inebriated and spoke to everyone. He did not use glasses at this time. He also states that the individual who carried the child was not ROBERT. He would have recognised him immediately.
• At being asked, states that he was accompanied by his wife, MARY SMITH and his son, PETER SMITH, his daughter-in-law, S***, and his grandchildren of 13 and 6 years of age (children of PETER) T**** and C***, his daughter AOIFE (12 years of age) and his other two grandchildren (A******* (10 years old) and E***** (four years old). These are children of his daughter B***** who was in Ireland.
• States also that when he passed this individual mid-street, traffic is minimal or non-existent.
• He adds that the group passed him some metres away so that they could make out the individual from various distinct positions.
• He has added a sketch indicating the direction of the locale and the sighting.
• He has no other elements to offer the investigation.
• And nothing more was said. He reads and finds it in conformity, ratifies and signs together with the interpreter.
Map showing the location of the Smith family sighting
Witness testimony of Aoife Smith, 26 May 2007
Date of Diligence: 2007.05.26
Location: This Department
Name: Aoife Smith
The witness states:
• That she comes to the process as a witness.
• Being of Irish nationality, she does not understand Portuguese in its written or oral form and is accompanied by an interpreter.
• States that she arrived on her Portugal holiday on the 30th of April, 2007. She came with her parents MARTIN and MARY Smith and her two nieces.
• They stayed in the Estrela Da Luz complex in Praia da Luz where her parents have an apartment. • Her brother PETER was already in the apartment when they arrived as was her sister-in-law, her nephew (six years old), C*** and the son of her sister-in-law, T**** (13 years old).
• They came with the intention of holidaying for about 10 days. The return passage was booked for May 9, 2007. She is not exactly sure of the date.
• Her holidays were spent in the complex pool, in Praia da Luz and in the central commercial district. Normally, however, they spent a lot of time in Luz villa.
• When dining in the apartment, it was normal for them not to venture out. When they did go to the restaurant, they would stop by Kelly's Bar, situated on Calheta Street.
• Regarding the 3rd of May, 2007, she went, together with the family, to eat at the Dolphin restaurant, which is close to Kelly's Bar. When they left the restaurant around 21H30, they headed toward Kelly's Bar. They stayed there for about 30 minutes.
• Around 22H00, they left Kelly's Bar. The group headed, on foot, for their apartment.
• Questioned, she responds that she knows the time because her brother and father decided to leave early that night. There were two reasons for this: her sister-in-law was not feeling very well and the other reason had to do with her brother, sister-in-law, nephew and son of her sister-in-law, who were catching a flight to Ireland the very next day.
• Upon leaving the bar, they turned right and headed along the road for 40/50 metres. At this point, they again turned to the right and ascended a small street that gives way to stairs. These stairs give access to Rua 25 de Abril. As it was a large group (four adults and five children) they travelled apart from each other along the street with one closer to the front and the others behind. She does not remember how they were separated.
• The deponent remembers that upon reaching the top of the stairs, she looked to her left and saw a man (1) with a child (2) in his arms, walking along the path Rua 25 de Abril. He was walking in their direction at a distance of, give or take, two metres.
• The deponent crossed to the other side of Rua 25 de Abril and began walking on the street that leads to the primary school, in the direction of their apartment complex.
• She did not see if the referenced individual with the child descended the street via the stairs or if he continued via the 25 of Abril street.
• It was the first time she saw that man. She does not remember seeing him at any time in that location.
• She has seen photographs of Madeleine McCann and thinks that it could have been her. She is about 60% certain.
• The below referenced description about the individual was taken around 22H00, when the lighting was weak.
• Questioned, states that she would probably not be able to recognise the individual or the child:
• (1) the individual was male, Caucasian, light-skinned, between 20/30 years of age, of normal complexion, normal physique, around 175/180 metres in height. At the time she saw him, she did see his face but now cannot remember any detail. She believes that he had a clean-shaven face. She does not remember any tattoos, scars or earrings. She did not look at his ears. His hair was thick-ish, light brown in colour, cut in a short style, short from behind (normal) and a bit longer on the top.
• His trousers were beige in colour, made of cotton, possibly with buttons, and without any other decoration.
• She did not see what he was wearing above his trousers as the child covered him completely from the top.
• She did not notice what shoes he was wearing.
• The individual's gait was normal. He did not look tired and walked normally while carrying the child.
• (2) the child was female . She had straight long hair to the neck. The colour was light/light brown. • She is certain that the child was about four years old because her niece (who was in the group) is of the same age and same height.
• She did not see the child's face because she was lying against the individual's left shoulder in a vertical position against the individual. She appeared to be sleeping. Her arms were suspended along her body and were not around the individual's neck. She did not look at the child's hands and cannot state the colour of her skin. She believes she was white.
• There was nothing covering the child, a comforter/blanket or any other piece of clothing but she only saw her back.
• She was wearing light trousers, white or light-pink, that may have been pyjamas. She does not remember if they were patterned as it was dark. The material was light and could have been cotton. • She also had a light top, with long sleeves. She did not see well because the individual had his arms around the child. She is not sure if the child's top was the same colour as her trousers but the trousers were light.
• Questioned regarding her shoes, she responds that she did not remember seeing any but cannot remember if the child had any or not.
• Urged, affirms that she has finished declaring the truth, according to her knowledge.
• And nothing more was said. Reads and finds it inconformity, ratifies and signs together with her interpreter.
Witness testimony of Peter Daniel Smith, 26 May 2007
Date of Diligence: 2007.05.26
Location: DIC Portimao
Name: PETER DANIEL SMITH
Nationality: Irish Profession: Commercial Manager
The witness states:
• That he comes to the process as a witness.
• Being of Irish nationality, he does not understand Portuguese in its written or oral form and is accompanied by an interpreter, Lidia Nascimento.
• States that father owns an apartment in the Luz Villa, Lagos, specifically in the Estrela da Luz complex, corresponding to A1C. His father comes to Portugal at least three times per year. This was the deponent’s first time to Portugal.
• With regard to this period he states that he arrived in Portugal on the 26th of April 2007 and had his return passage (which he complied with) booked for the 4th of May of the same year. He arrived at Faro airport having left from Dublin. He arrived a few days before his father, by choice in relation to the days available. He was accompanied by his wife, S***, and his two children TA*** and CO** aged 13 and 6 respectively.
• He would like to clarify that on day of the 3rd of May, he and the family went to the Dolphin restaurant, situated in Praia da Luz, where they dined. At around 21H00, they left the restaurant and headed toward Kelly's Bar, which is about one minute away on foot. In Kelly's Bar (he does not remember the name of the street it is on) they had a few drinks and left there around 21H50/22H00.
• They left the bar, and went up a set of stairs that give access to a road just above. On this road, they walked towards another street (whose name he does not know) and headed for Estrela da Luz. At the beginning of this road, he saw an individual carrying a child. This individual was walking normally although with somewhat quick steps as he was walking downwards. He appeared normal to the witness, as if this were father and daughter. He adds that this individual was coming down the street, in an opposite direction to that of the witness and his companions. He does not know the destination the individual took as he only saw him while they passed each other.
• When asked, he states that when he passed this individual it was around 21H55/22H00 and he had absolutely no knowledge at that time that a child had disappeared. He only found out about disappearance of the girl the next morning by means of someone he knew, the son of the builder of Estrela da Luz, who was also at the airport. The witness went to the airport given that, as planned, he intended to return to Ireland on this day.
• At this time, he did not associate the individual with the disappearance, however after having thought about the subject and about the coincidence of the time, he inferred that MADELEINE could have been the girl who was being carried by the individual he saw.
• As regards the description of the individual carrying the girl he says: Caucasian, around 175 to 180 cm in height. He was around 35, or older. Slightly brown skin as a result of sun exposure. He had a normal complexion, in good form. He had short hair, brown in colour. He does not remember if he wore glasses, or if he had a beard or a moustache. He did not notice any other relevant details as the lighting was bad.
• Neither does he remember the clothing the individual wore or his shoes. He states that he did not look at these details as his pregnant wife was somewhat indisposed and he was constantly looking at her and therefore did not pay attention to observing the individual.
• He states the child was female. She was perhaps two or three years old. She appeared to be a bit smaller than his niece of the same age. It was a girl with a normal complexion. She had blond hair, of medium tone, without being very shiny. Her skin was white, typically British. He did not see her eyes as she was asleep and her eyelids were closed.
• He does not remember her clothing very well but believes it was light summer clothing light in colour. He does not remember if she was covered by any blanket or covering. He cannot say whether she was barefoot.
• Having now seen various photographs of MADELEINE and television images, he says that the child being carried by the individual might have been her. He cannot state this as fact but is convinced that it could have been MADELEINE. Indeed, this is the opinion shared by his family.
• When asked, he states that the individual did not say a word nor did the child as she was sleeping deeply. He adds that the individual did not try to hide his face or lower his gaze. He did not notice anything strange.
• He says that it would not be possible to recognise the individual in person or from a photograph.
• When asked, he says that when he saw the individual, the witness was accompanied by his wife, S***, his father MARTIN, his mother MARY, his children TA*** and CO** aged 13 and 6 respectively, his sister AOIFE aged 12 and his two nieces AI****** and EI****, aged 10 and 4, the children of his sister B*****, who was in Ireland.
• He also says that when he passed the individual, the individual was descending to his right, and walked past the witness in the middle of the street, given that at that time the traffic was minimal or non-existent.
• He adds that the group were walking at a distance of some metres so that they were able to see the individual from various different positions.
• A sketch is attached showing the route and the location of the sighting.
• Adds also that his son TA*** was questioned in Ireland and said that the individual was wearing a long-sleeved coat, black in colour, and that the child was barefoot.
• He has no other elements to offer the investigation.
• And nothing more was said. Having read the statement and finding it to be in conformity, ratifies and signs together with the interpreter.
Local family may have seen missing Maddy Drogheda Independent
By Angela McCormick
Wednesday June 06 2007
A DROGHEDA family may have been the last people to see abducted four-year-old Madeleine McCann in Portugal.
The family is understood to have seen a child in the arms of a man on the night and at the time Madeleine was taken from her parents' apartments in Praia Da Luz.
They have reported the matter and recently gave statements to the Portuguese police.
The Portuguese police have asked the family not to speak to the press in case they compromise their investigations.
The family declined to give any details to the Drogheda Independent.
Portuguese police are convinced that the child, who vanished during a family holiday in the Algarve on May 3, was abducted.
A number of Drogheda-based families holiday in the nearby Estrela Da Luz apartments, part of a complex built by Drogheda man Gerry Fagan of Oceanico Developments.
'Estrela Da Luz is just around the corner from Praia Da Luz. Loads of Drogheda people go there. It is an absolute paradise,' said Jem O'Neill, a regular visitor.
Gerry McCann requests photos from Irish holidaymakers 09 June 2007 (Day 37 Gerry McCann's Blogs)
Day 37 Kate and I had a slightly busier day on the media front than expected. We did a short press interview for the Irish Sunday papers, mainly to thank the Irish for their fantastic level of support. We followed that with one for the British Sundays which is likely to be the last one we do for a while. We talked about our pain of not having having Madeleine for such a long time and for our need to grieve, which occurs mainly in private. We also talked about how after Morocco we will have to spend some time reflecting both emotionally, and also how best the campaign can be taken forward. What we want to ensure is that the campaign has a psoitive effect on finding Madeleine.
After this we headed down to Sagres which is the very most southwestern tip of Portugal. There is a very nice beach and we had lunch with the family.
After returning from the beach we did the Irish version of Crimewatch-'Crimecall'. There are a lot of Irish tourists in and around Praia da Luz and although the awareness of Madeleine's disappearance in Ireland is extremely high, we want to ensure that everyone is aware of the appeal and we want the Irish public to come forward with photographs of people who they do not know who were in and around Praia da Luz in the 2 weeks leading up to the 3rd May. The address to upload photographs is: to www.madeleine.ceopupload.com. We have also asked for people to contact their local police if they have seen a man matching the description of the suspect carrying a child seen around the time of Madeleine’s abduction. He is 30-40 years, 1.70-1.80m (5'7"-11"), caucasian and was wearing a dark jacket, beige or mustard coloured trousers with dark shoes. No major news on the investigation front- we still believe it is just a single phone call away.
Drogheda family hit out over Madeleine case clue coverage
Wednesday August 08 2007 Link
A DROGHEDA family who may hold vital clues as to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have hit out at media distortion of evidence that they have given to Portuguese police.
Maple Drive man Martin Smith, his wife and his children had just left the Kelly bar, which is located approximately 400 metres from the McCanns' apartment at the Ocean Club between 9.50-10pm on the night Madeleine disappeared.
They returned to Ireland the next day, and because the reported abduction times didn't originally match, they never had cause to examine their journey that night.
As it emerged that Madeleine was abducted around the same time, one of the family members had a flashback of the moment some time later and encouraged the others to jog their memory.
They remembered passing a man walking towards the beach with a child in his arms.
Other than his approximate height and the fact that he was wearing beige clothes they cannot be more specific than that. 'We are annoyed at how vague our description is,' said the family member.
The family contacted the Portuguese police and flew back over to give evidence.
However, contrary to media reports, Mr Smith had not seen chief suspect Robert Murat in a bar the evening that Madeleine was abducted. 'He definitely didn't see him on the night in question,' said a family member.
The family are also mystified at reports that he knows Mr Murat. 'They met once in a bar about two years ago. My dad would only know Mr Murat by sight,' said the family member. 'However, from what he knows, he can say that the man who was carrying the child was not Robert Murat.'
UK police communication re: Martin Smith's sighting, 20 September 2007
Processos Vol XIII Pages 3996 – 3997
Email from John Hughes to DIC Portimao, C.C. to Stuart Prior
Date: 20th September 2007
Subject: Fwd Smith family
From: Lindsay Long to John Hughes
Re – Smith family
Location: Portugal Out of Force Area
Origin: Mr Martin Smith Ireland
Text: Reported that he had passed a male carrying a child in Praia da Luz the night Maddie went missing. Went and made a statement to Portugal police in Portimao on 26th May and returned to UK. Is saying that after seeing the McCanns on the news on 9th Sept when they returned to UK he has not slept and is worried sick. He states he was watching the 10 PM news on BBC and saw the McCanns getting off the plane and coming down the steps. He states it was like watching an action replay of the night he saw the male carrying the child back in Portugal. He states the way Gerry was carrying his twin triggered something in his head. It was exactly the same way and look of the male seen the night Maddie went missing . He also watched ITV news and Sky news and inferred it looked like the same person both times carrying the children.
Is asking a member of OP task ring him back. He was with group of 9 family and friends the night he saw the male in Portugal. He sounded quite worried and shaken whilst speaking to me.
Irish family's Maddie quiz link
From: VERONICA LORRAINE in Praia da Luz
Published: 03 Jan 2008
PRIVATE detectives hunting for Madeleine McCann are to quiz an Irish family who may have been the last to see her alive.
Martin Smith, his wife and children told cops they saw a man carrying a little blonde girl in Praia da Luz on the night Maddie vanished.
Investigators from the Metodo 3 agency hired by Maddie's parents Gerry and Kate are preparing to travel to Ireland to interview them.
The family, from Drogheda, Co Louth, believe they saw the man taking the sleeping tot down to the beach at the Portuguese resort.
The Smiths were leaving Kelly's Bar — 400 metres from the McCanns' apartment — between 9.50 and 10pm on May 3 last year.
They flew home to Ireland the next day, but when the times of Maddie's abduction were revealed, the family remembered seeing a man, 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in tall and dressed in beige, carrying the child.
Significantly the description matches that given by Jane Tanner, 37, a friend of the McCanns.
Mr Smith, who has already spoken to Portuguese cops over the sighting, said yesterday: "I'd talk to anyone to move this investigation on. I think about Maddie every day."
He added: "I found the Portuguese cops not to be the most efficient bunch."
His wife Mary, 59, said: "We saw a man carrying a blonde child. It was just such a normal thing to see in a holiday resort — we didn't think anything of it at the time."
The Sun reported on Monday how Metodo 3 — which is costing the Find Madeleine Fund £300,000 — plan to blitz Morocco after several leads pointed to the country.
Maddy: We saw abduction Link
Paul Byrne in Praia da Luz
A family who may have seen Madeleine McCann being abducted could provide vital evidence in the search for the missing four-year-old.
The group saw a man walking towards the beach in Praia da Luz while carrying a child at the time Madeleine vanished, exactly eight months ago.
Portuguese police have taken statements from the family, who live in Drogheda, Ireland.
Now detectives hired by Madeleine's parents want to speak to Martin Smith and his family. The Smiths were leaving Kelly's Bar just before 10pm when they saw a man carrying a child 500 yards from the McCanns' apartment.
Kate McCann, 39, raised the alarm about her missing daughter at around 10pm.
The Smiths are thought to have described the man as white and 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in tall. His top clothing was obscured by the child. That description matches a suspect seen walking away from the apartment at about 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a member of the "Tapas Seven" group of friends who were on holiday with the McCanns.
She saw a man carrying a child wearing pink pyjamas similar to those worn by Madeleine.
The McCanns' spokesman said yesterday: "Our detectives are being very methodical and I am quite sure that this family will be on their list."
The eight-month deadline means suspect Robert Murat, 34, hopes to be formally cleared today.
Maddie: Irishman provides dramatic new clues
Daily Mail (appeared in paper edition only)
EXCLUSIVE: Tourist met rude man carrying child in blanket on night Madeleine vanished
By SANDRA MURPHY, VANESSA ALLEN
January 3, 2008
AN IRISH holidaymaker has spoken publicly for the first time of his disturbing encounter with a man carrying a child wrapped in a blanket on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared.
Now investigators hired by Madeleine's parents hope Martin Smith and his family can provide a crucial breakthrough.
Speaking from his home in Drogheda, Co. Louth, Mr Smith recalled the sighting, which is strikingly similar to one by a friend of the McCanns, Jane Tanner. In hindsight, the retired Mr Smith said, the mans rude behaviour should have aroused his suspicions.
He explained: "The one thing we noted afterwards was that he gave us no greeting.
"My wife Mary remembered afterwards that she asked him, 'Oh, is she asleep?' But he never acknowledged her one way or another.
"He just put his head down and averted his eyes. This is very unusual in a tourist town at such a quiet time of the year."
Their description of the barefoot child and the man, who wore beige trousers, echoes that of Miss Tanner, who said she saw a man carrying a sleeping child away from the McCanns apartment about 9.15pm.
Though the Smith family believe they met an almost identical man closer to 10pm, the coincidence prompted them to contact police after they returned to Ireland. Mr Smith said: "Luz is such a small place and so quiet, we felt a duty to tell police and let them decide if it was important."
Last night, McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said detectives from the Spanish agency Metodo 3 now hoped to speak to the family. "Metodo 3 is being very methodical, working through a number of people they think might be able to help them, and this family will be on their list."
On the night of the disappearance, Mr Smith was dining with his wife in the Dolphin restaurant in Praia Da Luz, where they are frequent visitors.
The couple were with their daughter Aoife, their son Peter and his wife Sile,as well as four grandchildren Tadhg, Cole, Aisling and Eimear.
All nine met the man holding a child but their recollection differs slightly from Miss Tanner's.
"In the image she gave, the man was holding the child forward in his arms. The man we saw had put the child over his shoulders. But Luz was very, very quiet at that time of the year and the likelihood of two young children being carried around like this is very small.
"Also, our timings are a bit different. She saw the man at 9.15pm. We say 9.45or 9.50pm and the sighting was only a five-minute walk from where the child was staying.
"I dont know if this information will help the McCanns. We kept interested in whats going on but we tried to avoid the limelight."
The father of six yesterday said the Irish family would do anything they could to help the McCanns find their missing daughter.
"We have not been contacted by the private detective hired by the McCanns, and have had no contact with the investigating police since May 26 last year.
"But anything we can do to help try to solve it, we will." Recalling the event she witnessed, Mr Smith said it was some time before the family realised they could be star witnesses
"We were out the night it happened. My son and his family were leaving on the Friday and we were going for a family meal. We went home about 9.50pm and we heard nothing at all about Madeleine McCann until the next day.
"I was taking my son Peter to the airport and on my way back, I heard that a kidnapping had happened in the village of Luz.
"We were looking at all the commotion on Sky News and we really felt quite helpless.
"We had two grandchildren with us at the time, aged four and five, and it had a terrible effect on them.
"They all wanted to sleep in the same room as us until we went home on the Wednesday.
"We were home two weeks when my son rang up and asked was he dreaming or did we meet a man carrying a child the night Madeleine was taken. We all remembered that we had the same recollection. I felt we should report it to the police.
"I rang the Portuguese police and they took a statement from me on the phone.Then they asked me to make a statement to gardai, which I did in Drogheda two weeks after the disappearance.
"Two days later, Leicestershire police got on to us and said they wanted to speak to all nine of us. But we felt there was no point dragging grand children and the whole lot out to Portugal so just my eldest son, Peter, and youngest daughter, Aoife, and I flew to Luz to make a statement.
"The police were fairly busy and the station was pretty typical. They didnt seem to be the most efficient police you ever came across but they are probably no different to police anywhere else. We were interviewed separately and told them what we saw, and showed them on the map where we met the man and child.
"We spent the whole day there from 10.30am to 7pm with an interpreter. That day, May 26 last year, was the last time we had any contact with the investigation.I remember clearly because it was my wedding anniversary.
"I told them we went for dinner at the Dolphin Restaurant and then went on to have just one drink in Kelly's bar, just 50 yards away.
"We would normally have stayed out longer but my son and his family were going home the next day.
"As we made our way back to our apartment in Estrella da Luz, we met a guy with a child that appeared to be asleep.
"It looked like a blonde child, and I thought she might be four years old, as she was the same size as my grandchild who was with us.
"It was around 9.55pm and it was getting dark and he was looking downward so I couldnt tell you exactly what he looked like.
"None of us was 100 per cent sure what he was wearing but we all told police he was wearing beige trousers and a darker top. We all put him in his early 40s. I didnt think he was Portuguese." Insisting he knew chief suspect Robert Murat visually for years, Mr Smith told police the person he saw carrying a child could not be him.
"I told police it was definitely not him because the man wasn't as big as Murat. I think I would have definitely recognised him."
Irish tourist clears Murat Link
First published: 04 January 2008
(Same article later republished with new headline: 'Missing Madeleine McCann: Irish Witness 'Clears' Murat', 12:00pm UK, Monday April 07, 2008 )
An Irish tourist who saw someone carrying a child in a blanket on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared insists that the mystery man was not Robert Murat.
Martin Smith, from Drogheda in Co Louth, was on holiday in Praia Da Luz with his family when they bumped into the man just before 10pm on May 3 last year.
The Smith family's suspicions were aroused because the man made no response when they asked if the barefoot child was asleep. "He just put his head down and averted his eyes, which is very unusual in a tourist town at such a quiet time of the year," said Mr Smith.
Initially the Smith family thought nothing more of the encounter - and even the next day when the story broke they still didn't make the connection.
"We were home two weeks when my son rang me up and asked was he dreaming or did we meet a man carrying a child the night Madeleine was taken," said Mr Smith.
"We all remembered the same recollection, and I felt we should report it to the police.
"We've all been beating ourselves up that we should have made the link sooner, if only we'd remembered the next day. But the Portuguese police said you see these things on holiday all the time."
The Smiths did contact the Portuguese police once they had returned to Ireland, but say they have had no contact with the officers investigating the case since May last year.
"I rang the Portuguese police and they took a statement from me on the phone," said Mr Smith.
They asked me to make a statement to the Gardai, which I did, and two days later Leicestershire police got on to us.
"My eldest son, Peter, my youngest daughter, Aoife, and I then flew to Luz to make a statement. They didn't seem to be the most efficient police you ever came across - and that was the last time we had any contact with the investigation.
"I don't know if this information will help the McCanns, but anything we can do to help try to solve it, we will.
"We were looking at all the commotion on Sky News and we really felt quite helpless. We had two grandchildren with us at the time and it had a terrible effect on them - they all wanted to sleep in the same room as us."
But Mr Smith is certain that the man he and his family saw that night was not Robert Murat, who is still officially an "arguido" in the Madeleine McCann investigation.
"I told police it was definitely not him because the man wasn't as big as Murat - I think I would have recognised him because I'd met him several times previously.
He was wearing beige trousers and a darker top. We all put him in his early 40s and I didn't think he was Portuguese."
Mr Smith's sighting is similar to the one reported by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCann family. A spokesman for the McCanns said detectives from the Spanish agency hired to investigate the case are now hoping to speak to the Smiths.
Retired Mr Smith, 58, does not wish to appear on camera in order to protect his family from media intrusion.
Local family's anguish over 'Maddy' sighting
Wednesday January 09 2008
Madeleine (4) vanished on May 3rd last while her family were on holiday in the Portuguese resort of Praia Da Luz.
The Drogheda family, who first spoke to the Drogheda Indpendent last August, say despite current media reports that they will be contacted by the detective agency hired by parents Gerry and Kate McCann to find the missing toddler, no one has been in contact with them. 'We are willing to talk to anyone but our information is vague. It cuts us up that we can't be of more help but what we saw is not going to crack the case,' Peter Smith told the Drogheda Independent.
The Drogheda family, Peter, his wife Sheila and their two children Tadgh (13) and Cole (6), along with grandparents Martin and Mary Smith, were holidaying in the same resort at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.
Returning from a night out the family saw a sleeping child in the arms of a man, on the night the toddler was taken from her parents apartment. 'It was our last night. We left the restaurant early because my wife, who was expecting our third child at the time was feeling unwell. On the way back to our apartment we saw a man walking down towards the beach with a child in his arms. It's a common enough sight in a holiday resort and we didn't think much of it. In fact it was only after we were home two weeks that I remembered seeing him. At the time my attention was focused on looking after my wife,' Peter, who lives in Greenhills, explained. 'When I mentioned it, it jogged my father's memory and he too remembered seeing the same man,' Peter added.
The family made a statement to the Gardaí who then contacted the Portuguese police. 'About three to four weeks after Madeleine disappeared we travelled back to Portugal and gave a description of the man in a statement to the police there,' said Peter.
Since then the family have heard nothing, from either the Portuguese police or the detectives agency Metodo 3, hired by her family to find Madeleine. 'We knew that what we had seen was so vague that we couldn't identify the guy. However we are willing to help in any way that we can if we are contacted,' the Drogheda man stressed.
Additional statement by Martin Smith, 30 January 2008
Re – Investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
I took an additional statement from Mr Smith as requested. His wife does not want to make another statement. I showed him the video clip and he stated that it was not the clip that alerted him but the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007.
He has been contacted by numerous tabloid press looking for stories. He has been contacted by Mr Brian Kennedy who is supporting the McCann family to take part in a photo fit exercise. He has given no stories or helped in any photo fits. He sent a solicitor’s letter to six papers in relation material that was printed that was misquoted. The Evening Herald paid his solicitor's fees and all papers printed an apology. His photograph appeared in another tabloid paper and this matter is being pursued at the moment.
I do not believe that Martin Smith is courting the press and my view his is a genuine person. He is known locally and is a very decent person.
Sergeant L*** H****
Additional statement by Martin Smith, 30 January 2008
I hereby declare that this statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief and that I make it knowing that if it is tendered in evidence I will be liable to prosecution if I state in it anything which I know to be false or do not believe to be true.
I would like to state that the statement I made on 26th May 2007 in Portugal is correct. The description of the individual that I saw on 3rd May 2007 carrying a child is as follows. He was average build, 5 foot 10” in height, brown hair cut short, aged 40 years approximately. Wearing beige trousers and darkish top maybe a jacket or blazer. He had a full head of hair with a tight cut. This individual was alone. I saw Gerard McCann (sic) going down the plane stairs carrying one of his children on 9th September 2007 BBC news at 10 PM, I have been shown the video clip by Sergeant Hogan which I recognise. A clip I have seen before on the Internet. In relation to the video clips of Gerard McCann and the person I saw on 3rd May 2007 when I saw the BBC news at 10 PM on 9th September 2007 something struck me that it could have been the same person. It was the way Gerard McCann turned his head down which was similar to what the individual did on 3rd May 2007 when we met him. It may have been the way he was carrying the child either. I would be 60-80% sure that it was Gerard McCann that I met that night carrying a child. I am basing that on his mannerism in the way he carried the child off the plane. After seeing the BBC news at 10 PM, footage on the 9th September 2007 I contacted Leicestershire police with this information. During that time I spoke to all my family members who were with me on the night of 3rd May 2007 about this and the only one who felt the same way as me was my wife. She had seen the video clip of Gerard McCann walking down the stairs of the plane earlier that day. We did not discuss this until some days later. This statement has been read over to me and is correct.
Irishman saw Gerry carry Maddie
Correio da Manhã
Final report - CM reveals everything about the investigation in an exclusive 07 July 2008 - 00h30 Thanks to 'astro' for translation
Martin Smith, an Irishman, told the Polícia Judiciária that he saw a man carrying a child, that looked like Maddie to him, approximately around supper time on the 3rd of May.
The deposition of the witness was collected right at the beginning of the investigation, but the lack of complementary elements about the individual who was carrying the child did not lead the investigators to other diligences.
Days later, already back in his home country, Martin Smith contacted the Irish authorities. He asserted that when he saw the case on television and at the moment when he saw Gerry's face for the first time, when he was descending from an airplane, he had no doubts left. The man who carried the child on the day of the disappearance was her father.
The information was sent to the Portuguese authorities during a phase when the PJ still centered the process on the abduction theory. And, according to the final report, the lead was not followed up because at the time when Martin says he saw Gerry, the latter was having dinner at the Tapas Restaurant.
What the investigators established later on was that, after all, the reconstruction of the evening that was sustained by the group, was not straightforward. In truth, nobody knows at exactly what time each element of the group was present at the restaurant, given the fact that several of the English got up from the table in a more or less alternate manner during the dinner at the Ocean Club.
The PJ later equated the hearing of the witness through a rogatory letter. But the diligence ended up not being carried out, given the fact that without complimentary evidence, no results would be reached anyway.
Police files give McCanns 'hope' Link
Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 18:35 UK
Other new information revealed in the files includes the account of one witness who reported seeing a man carrying a young girl with blonde hair on the night of the disappearance. He later told the police the man could have been Madeleine's father.
Martin Smith, 58, on holiday at the time, was interviewed by detectives in Portugal and his native Ireland but the line of inquiry was later discarded.
Four months after his initial statement Mr Smith contacted the police to say he had seen Madeleine's parents arriving back in Britain on BBC News, and the way Mr McCann carried one of the couple's twins reminded him of the man he had seen in Portugal.
When detectives replayed video footage of the couple's arrival at East Midlands airport, the witness said he was 60-80% sure that the man he passed was Gerry McCann.
But this was later dismissed by prosecutors because at the time of the reported sighting, shortly before 2200, Gerry McCann was sitting in the Ocean Club's tapas bar with other members of his party.
Drogheda businessman told police he saw Gerry McCann carrying a child towards the beach the day Maddie disappeared
The Irish Mail on Sunday (no online link, appears in paper edition)
10 August 2008
Father-of-six gave garda a signed statement saying he and his wife were ''60 to 80% sure'' that the man they saw holding the child was Maddie's father.
The claim, which was taken seriously by the Portuguese police, was made almost four months after Maddie disappeared on May 3rd this year. Since then the McCanns have been totally exonerated of any involvement.
Mr. Smith had initally told police he had seen a man carrying a child that night, but that he couldn't identify him because he had not been wearing his glasses. The following September, however, the businessman saw clips of the McCanns returning from their holidays and said the footage of Mr McCann carrying his younger child had instantly reminded him of the mystery man.
''I would be 60 to 80% sure that it was Gerry McCann that I met that night carrying a child," Mr Smith said in his statement. ''It was the way Mr. McCann turned his head down that was similar... It may have been the way he was carrying his child.
''I am basing this on his mannerism, in the way he carried the child off the plane.''
Mr Smith's claim was passed to the Portuguese police who took it as more evidence in support of their mistaken belief that the McCanns had something to do with their daughter's disappearence.
Friends of the McCann family said last night that the decision of the Portuguese police to pursue Mr Smith's claims prove that they were determined to pin the blame on Maddie's parents come what may.
One said ''Look at the facts. This man sees an individual carrying a child on the night Madeleine vanished. He waits 13 days to report this to the police, going back to Ireland.
"The McCanns returning to England - It was this image that alerted Mr Smith in the meantime. At this stage he admits he has no idea who the man is, other than a basic description. A further three, almost four months go by before, after seeing him on television, he feels it could be Gerry.
''By now the police have dozens of statements putting Gerry back at the apartment complex at that time. Yet the Portuguese ask a combination of the Leicestershire police and the Garda to re-interview this witness. About what??
''And why? The truth is that this is part of the victimisation of Gerry and Kate which has gone on from the very beginning by the Portuguese,who were clearly desperate to get something against them."
The extraordinary saga began on the night of May 3rd 2007, as Martin and his wife, Mary, walked back from a local pub in Praia da Luz to their apartment with members of his family. They had decided to return to their apartment within an hour of dining out becasue their son, Peter, was catching an early morning flight the next day.
As they made their way back, they crossed paths with a slim man with a full head of chestnut coloured hair and dressed in beige trousers coming in the opposite direction.
It was 9.55 pm and the man was carrying a sleeping little blonde girl of about 4-years of age. The child's head was was resting on the man's left shoulder.
At this stage Maddie had already disappeared but the Smiths were unaware that a child had gone missing from PDL.
It was not until the following morning that a family member living in Ireland told them of Madeleine's disappearence. Mr Smith returned to Ireland six days after the litle girl went missing and it was another 2 weeks before he travelled back to Portugal to make a statement about what he saw that night.
In the statement to Portuguese police on May 26th, the grandfather -who wears glasses but was not wearing them at the night in question - said he would not be able to identify the man he saw.
Significantly though he was able to tell Police that the man was not Robert Murat, as he had met him on a number of previous occasions.
After making his statement, Mr Smtih returned to Drogheda and it was not until four months later that that he made contact with the police again.
This weekend, Mr Smith's wife Mary told the Mail on Sunday her husband had no regrets about coming forward.
He [Martin] doesn't want to talk, said Mrs Smith. He said what he had to say. I was with him [that night]. We saw a man carrying a child and that's all we know. We told them all that and that's it.
''The man he saw had the same stature as Gerry McCann. We felt we had to help. We're happy we did. We reported exactly what we saw.
"We only did what we thought was right for a missing girl and our hearts are breaking for her parents, as it would be if it were one of ours.
''I feel very much for them [the McCanns]. I have six grandchildren of my own and six children of my own.
"The poor McCann family must be heartbroken.''
My name is Maddie. They took me from my holidays
(no online link, appears in paper edition only)
By Andreia Sanches and Paul Torres de Carvalho
19 August 2008
Thanks to 'lisbonirish' for translation
Gerry was also in a "sighting"
On 26 May, Martin Smith, an Irishman described by the Leicestershire police as a "decent" man who was not looking for fame, came to Portugal to give a statement to the PJ and tell them what he saw on the night of 3 May 2007, at around 10.00 p.m., in a street in Praia da Luz: a man carrying a child in his arms, with the child's head resting on the man's left shoulder.
The image he saw: a man approximately 175 to 180 cm tall (5' 9" to 5' 11"), 34/35 years old, short brown hair, and carrying a blonde girl wearing pyjamas "roughly four years of age", has never gone out of his head, he said.
On 20 September, the Irishman once again contacted the authorities. He was "distressed", going on to explain that when he saw the McCanns on the TV news on 9 September getting off the plane that had just landed in England, now as "arguidos" he sensed that he was witnessing a "repeat of the events of the night" on which he had seen the man "carrying the child back in Portugal". The way Gerry was carrying one of his children, Sean, whose head was resting on his shoulder, was "exactly" the same way the unidentified man in Portugal carried his child.
The PJ asked for more information. On 23 January Mr. Smith gave another statement to the police in Drogheda, Ireland. He repeated that he was 60 to 80 per cent sure that the man he had seen carrying a child in Praia da Luz was Gerry.
In the final report on the investigation, the PJ guarantee, however, that at the time Smith says he saw Gerry in the street, Madeleine's father was sitting at the table in the Tapas restaurant in the Ocean Club.
Photos from the PJ DVD files
Key witness identified Maddie's father
Correio da Manha
Former PJ coordinator says Irish family saw man with child
Gonçalo Amaral reveals that key deposition was devalued at the time of disappearance
By Sara G. Carrilho
21 October 2013 01h00
With thanks to Astro for translation
"The testimony of one of the members of the Smith family that identified Gerry McCann as being the man he saw on the night that Maddie disappeared, carrying a child in his arms as he walked towards the beach was devalued after I left the case. It is a lie that the e-fit that the British police now made public is based on the Smith family's witness statement."
The statements are from Gonçalo Amaral, the former PJ coordinator who investigated the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, to Correio da Manhã. They appear following the publication of e-fits by the Scotland Yard that point one of the drawings out as being that of the main suspect over the presumed abduction of the English child, on the 3rd of May of 2007 - which they say was based on the testimony of an Irish family that was on holiday in Praia da Luz when Maddie disappeared.
"The Smith family told us what they saw that night. A man, a foreigner, of athletic build, a sunburned face, like those of tourists, who was hiding his face in order not to be seen, carrying a blonde child in his arms," Gonçalo Amaral said. "A short time later, when the McCann family 'fled' to the United Kingdom, and were welcomed by the television at the airport, a member of the Smith family called us, very upset. Gerry [Maddie's father], who was leaving the plane, was the man that Mr Smith had seen carrying a child that night," the former coordinator explained.
For Gonçalo Amaral, "there was a positive identification, which was set aside". "The McCann's hired detectives who made a portrait, a man that resembled Gerry, in order to devalue the deposition," he concluded.
"His trousers were beige in colour, made of cotton, possibly with buttons, and without any other decoration"