David Edgar

Libel trial > McCann v Gonçalo Amaral - Day 1, Witness No 3 

The testimony as it happened...

(12.09.2013, 5pm) David Edgar (Former RUC detective) hired by the McCanns as a private investigator from October 2008 to October 2011. Has only a professional relationship with the McCanns.

1) McCann family lawyer, Isabel Duarte, is the first to question the witness.

ID – After explaining the purpose of the trial, she asks what DE’s function was.
DE answers he tried to discover where Madeleine was.

ID – Have you previously worked with Portuguese people in the exercise of your functions?
DE says he did.

ID – Do you know the legal process in Portugal?
DE just knows the investigation was closed. He had contacts with Portuguese lawyers.

ID – Did the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) go on investigating after the case was filed?
DE says yes.

ID – Between 2008 and 2011, was much information relating to the case received by the PJ?
DE says yes, but not much information originated from Portugal. He thinks that Madeleine can be in Portugal and therefore the Portuguese information is important. But adds that the Portuguese public believed Madeleine was dead.

ID – You interviewed people. Did you feel the impact of that belief or not?
DE says it is difficult to say in terms of volume of information and of facts. He thinks there was less information being received by the time he got involved in October 2008.

ID – Did the interest of the public increase or decreased after the publication of the (Amaral) book?
DE says it's difficult to say. He says there was a lot of information when he started to work on this case.

2) Defence lawyers.

a) TVI lawyers’ questions.

TVI – The curiosity of the public in a case of a disappearance without a trace is normal. Does the anonymous and spontaneous information decrease with time?
DE says it depends on the investigators, each case is different. There's a decrease.

TVI – Does the interest of the newspapers and the public also diminishes?
DE doesn't know.

b) Guerra & Paz's lawyer's questions

GP – Did you have access to the criminal process?
DE answers that he read parts of the files in the translation that the McCanns asked to be done.

GP – How did you manage to conduct an investigation without analysing all the process? Whom did you contact in Portugal?
DE says he contacted an informant who passed information to both the UK and Portuguese authorities. He doesn't want to say to whom he spoke, but says he spoke to someone from the PJ.

GP – Do you know that the McCanns initiated a private investigation?
DE knows.

GP – Was there private investigators before you?
DE says yes but adds he was the first professional one.

Neither the Valentim de Carvalho lawyer nor Gonçalo Amaral lawyer had questions.