This information belongs to the Ministério Público in Portimão, Portugal.
It was released to the public on 4 August 2008 in accordance with Portuguese Law


1581 to 1584 Witness testimony of Maria Cecilia Pereria Pires

06-Processo Volume VI pages 1581 to 1584




Witness testimony of Maria Cecilia
Pereria Pires
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 about 09h30/10h00 having gone to the mobile GNR police station where she obtained some information, having after gone to her "congeneres" [colleagues? associates? friends? other media people?] where she consolidated her understanding of the situation.
--- 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 missing child.
--- 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 address, 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 "invasion of property".
--- 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 metres tall, grey hair pinned back in a "banana" style, the man took the initiative to 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 deponent about being troubled [worried/disturbed] with the situation caused by the 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 that the previous night she heard the Police arrive, due to the sirens, according to her at 22h00.
--- 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 strange because at that hour on 4 May everyone knew that it was a girl who had disappeared.
--- The above lady also said that her son was working [collaborating] with the police in the attempt to find the child.
--- 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 were already 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 other individual only spoke to say that she had come only to look for the child, stopping the deponent by leaving that place while all the remaining people stayed ther to converse.
--- 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 [shown/revealed] as being Robert Murat, the person who had put himself forward between journalists and police, speaking English and Portuguese.
--- She states that this individual on day 5 (May) said to her that English 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 upset [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 news she 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 newspapers 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 disappearance on 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 that event.
--- 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 the papers today, 23 May, she felt it her duty to make known this fact to the authorities.

Nothing more said. Read, ratifies and will sign.


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