Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mr. Martin Smith : Statement -May 26th 2007

Revised version

Processos Vol VI
Pages 1606 to 1610

Policia Judiciaria

Witness Statement

Date of Diligence: 2007.05.26
Time: 10.40
Location: DIC Portimão


Nationality: Irish

Profession: Retired

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.

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 Li** ON****. He normally goes on holiday in Portugal, always stays in this apartment, three times a year.

As regards this period, he states that he arrived in Portugal on the 30th of April 2007, with a booked return date, which he complied with, on May 9, 2007. He arrived at Faro airport and flew out from Dublin.

Concerning the facts under investigation, on the day of 3rd of May, he went with his family to the Dolphin restaurant in Praia da Luz where they dined.
At around 21H00 they left the restaurant and headed toward 'Kelly's Bar'; about a 50 metre distance from the restaurant, given that the journey is very short, it took a couple of minutes.
In 'Kelly's Bar' they consumed some drinks, having left around 21H55 as his son was due to return to Ireland very early the next day. This bar is located on Rua da Calheta.

After leaving the bar, he travelled in the opposite direction and reached a set of stairs which gave access to Rua 25 de Abril .
On this artery they followed a second street, parallel to Rua 1 de Maio, whose name he does not remember, heading towards the Estrela da Luz complex which is located a little above the street that crosses the primary school.
At the beginning of this artery, he saw an individual carrying a child, who was walking normally and who did not seem out of place as it is normal to see people carrying children, especially during the holiday season.
This individual was walking the downward path, in the opposite direction to the witness and his companions.
He does not know where this person was headed as he only saw him as they passed each other. As he assumed they were a father and daughter, no suspicion was raised in him.

 He only became aware of the disappearance of the child on the morning of the following day, from his daughter L***** who was in Ireland and who sent him a message or called the witness telling him what had happened.

Now having knowledge of this situation 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 who was carrying the girl he said: Caucasian, around 175 to 180cm in height.
He appeared to be about 34/35 years old.
He had a normal complexion, rather slim.
His hair was short, in a normal male cut, brown in colour.
He cannot state if it was dark brown or lighter in tone.
He did not use glasses nor did he have a 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 in a cotton type of cloth.
He did not see his shoes.
As regards the clothing he was wearing on his chest, he says that he cannot remember nor describe its colour nor form.

As regards the child, he says 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 although he cannot say this categorically as she was being carried.
She had blond medium-hued hair, without being very shiny.
Her skin was light white, typical of the British.
He did not see her eyes as she was asleep and her eyelids were closed.

She was not covered by any other blanket or cover.
He cannot confirm whether she was barefoot however, within his group, they spoke about the child having no covering on her feet.
When asked, he states that the individual did not appear to be a tourist, not being able to explain why he had this perception, however he presumes it because of the individual's clothing.
He states that the individual carried the child in his arms, with her head laying on the individual's left shoulder which was to the right of the witness.
He adds that the individual was not holding the child in a comfortable position, showing that this was not habitual.

Having now seen various photographs of MADELEINE and television images, the witness says that the girl he saw being carried could be her.
He cannot state this as fact but is convinced that it could have been MADELEINE, and this is the opinion shared by his family.

When asked, he says that the individual did not say a word nor did the child as she was in a deep sleep.

He says that it would not possible to recognise the individual in person or from a photograph.

He adds that in May and August of 2006, he saw ROBERT MURAT in Praia da Luz bars.
On one of these occasions, the first, he was inebriated and spoke to everyone.
He did not wear glasses at this time.
He also states that the individual who carried the child was not ROBERT, as he would have recognised him immediately.

Upon being asked, he states that he was accompanied by his wife, MARY SMITH and his son, PETER SMITH, his daughter-in-law, SILE, and his grandchildren of 13 and 6 years of age respectively (children of PE***) TA*** and CO**, his daughter AOIFE (12 years of age) and his other two grandchildren (AI****** (10 years old) and EI**** (four years old) who are children of his daughter B***** who was in Ireland.

He also says that when he passed this individual he was walking in the middle of the street, given at that time traffic is minimal or non-existent. The witness was also walking in the same place.
He adds that the group was walking several metres away but that they could have seen the individual from various different positions.

A sketch is attached indicating the route and place of the sighting.

He has no other elements to offer the investigation.

And nothing more was said. He reads the statement and finds it in conformity, ratifies and signs together with the interpreter.

She was wearing light-coloured pyjamas, he cannot define the exact colour.

When asked, he states that when he passed this individual, it must have been around 22H00 and that he was totally unaware that a girl had disappeared.