Witness testimony of Maria
Date: 23 May 2007; Time: 20h40; Place: Faro Directorate
Officer: R. Valadas, Inspector
NOTE: This lady is a Journalist with the "Portugal Resident".
To the matter in hand she said:
--- She is a journalist since the age of sixteen [i.e. for 38
years] but only on
the above paper for about one month.
--- Asked she responded that on 4 May 2007 she was told by her
Editor to go to
Praia da Luz, Lagos to cover the disappearance of a minor.
--- She clarifies that she was informed that the disappearance
of the child
occurred in the "Ocean Club" resort of the "Mark Warner" group
and that the
family of the missing child were named McCann.
--- Questioned she responded that she arrived in Praia da Luz
having gone to the mobile GNR police station where she obtained
information, having after gone to her "congeneres" [colleagues?
friends? other media people?] where she consolidated her
understanding of the
--- She clarifies that die to the scarcity of information and
because it was a
very short time after the disappearance, she took the decision
to walk the
streets surrounding the resort.
--- She advances that from her decision she also found out that
the child could
have left the apartment by her own means, it being then possible
that she had
been found [met] in the immediate area.
--- In her walk close to the uncultivated ground to the north
and a few metres
from the resort, she encountered a man, about 50 years old who
greeted her in
English, asking her if she was involved in the searches for the
--- She had said no, then had affirmed that she had also come to
look, partly to
appease her conscience.
--- In this context the man proposed that he and she went to an
apparently uninhabited, but not abandoned, with the intention of
looking for the
child and because he did not want to be the only person doing an
--- After they entered the parking area of the residence, where
they called out
to confirm if anyone else was there, they were approached,
outside, by a woman,
seemingly advanced in age, about 70 years old, about 1,5 or 1,6
grey hair pinned back in a "banana" style, the man took the
approach the lady inviting her to enter the residence with him
and the deponent with the intention of looking for the missing
child, to which the lady agreed.
--- She explains that the man went to the pool area with her and
the old lady
behind given that the latter could walk only very slowly.
--- In the course of this walkabout the old lady spoke to the
being troubled [worried/disturbed] with the situation caused by
disappearance of the child having commented that the country
must be going
through a great affliction [distress/grief].
--- The conversation with both the above people was all in
English, the old lady
having said that she lived about 100 metres from the resort and
previous night she heard the Police arrive, due to the sirens,
according to her
--- The old lady said she had been eating dinner with her son
when she heard the
sirens, that is the Police, it being that it was at that time
that she became
aware of the disappearance of a girl from the "Ocean Club".
--- The deponent clarifies that the lady did not speak of a
child nor of a boy
but specifically referred to "a girl", which at the time was not
at that hour on 4 May everyone knew that it was a girl who had
--- The above lady also said that her son was working
[collaborating] with the police in the attempt to find the
--- She advances that after they had walked the ground around
that house where
nothing was found, as well as the house pool, they were
approached by a
neighbour, whom she judged to be German, who asked them in
English what they
were doing and that after the response she said that the police
coming with dogs.
--- In the course of that conversation the old lady being
neighbourly spoke, the
deponent having affirmed being a journalist, it being that the
only spoke to say that she had come only to look for the child,
deponent by leaving that place while all the remaining people
stayed ther to
--- This entire situation appeared to her to be perfectly normal
given the time
that it occurred.
--- Asked she responded that in the course of her work she had
come to know the
son of that lady, the person that the papers had demonstrated
as being Robert Murat, the person who had put himself forward
journalists and police, speaking English and Portuguese.
--- She states that this individual on day 5 (May) said to her
journalists had gone to affirm that he (Robert Murat) would be
one of the
suspects in the disappearance of the girl, appearing to be very
[worried/troubled] with the matter, having affirmed that he
would stay out of
the way and make no further commentary, it being that from that
moment it was to
her very much more difficult to contact him.
--- She clarifies that when she saw the photographs of the
information desk set
up by Robert's mother, she had the confirmation that the old
lady with whom she
had spoken on day 4 (May) and who had accompanied her in the
search of the house
was the same person who had set up the the information desk.
--- The question asked she responds that today when she read the
perceived [caught] a phrase [sentence] uttered by Robert's
mother, in that she
affirmed having had knowledge of the disappearance of the child
at 07h00 in the
morning of 4 May through a telephone call and that it would have
been at that
time that she decided to set up the information gathering desk,
a situation that
the deponent found vividly [distinctly] odd due to what had
happened on 4 May
and the conversation she had had with that lady at that time.
--- She affirms that she found out the lady's name through the
because on day 4 (May) that lady did not identify herself.
--- She advances that she had pondered many times on this
situation, but she had
always thought it to be unimportant, only today when she saw
written with enough
certainty that the lady referred to having found out about the
day 4 (May) through a phone call, clearly contradicting what she
had said to the deponent on the morning of that same day 4
(May), did she decide to communicate
--- Because it was asked she responds that she has nothing
against those people,
whom she had never seen before, being certain that faced with
the news of an
alibi construction and the apparent incongruence between what
the lady affirmed
to the deponent on day 4 (May) and what the deponent had read in
today, 23 May, she felt it her duty to make known this fact to
Nothing more said. Read, ratifies and will sign.