Saturday, February 25, 2012

Aoife Smith Statement : May 26th 2007

Revised Translation

Processos Volume VI
Pages 1611 - 1614

Policia Judiciaria

Witness Statement

Date of Diligence: 2007.05.26
Location: This Department

Responsible Officer: Inspector Carvalho

Name: Aoife Smith

Nationality: Irish

Profession: Student

The witness states:

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, Filipa Maria da Conçeição Silva.

On 30th April 2007 she travelled to Portugal on holiday, specifically to the Algarve. 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), CO** and the son of her sister-in-law, TA*** (13 years old).

They came with the intention of holidaying for about 10 days, having returned to Ireland on May 9, 2007 (she is not absolutely certain of the date).

She spent the holiday in the complex pool, in Praia da Luz and in the shopping centre. Normally, they spent Praia da Luz.

They would dine between 19.00 and 20.00, in the apartment or in the Dolphin, Cavaleiro da Luz, Chaplin or Marujo restaurants - all situated in the Praia da Luz area.

When dining in the apartment, it was normal for them not to go out. When they did go to restaurants, they would pass by Kelly's Bar, situated – she thinks - on Calheta Street in Praia da Luz.

Regarding the 3rd of May, 2007, she went, together with the whole family, to dine 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.

At around 22H00, they left Kelly's Bar. The group headed, on foot, for their apartment.

When asked, she responds that she knows the time they left because her brother and father decided to go home earlier that night.
There were two reasons for this: her sister-in-law was not feeling very well and because her brother, sister-in-law, nephew and son of her sister-in-law, were catching a flight to Ireland the following morning.

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 with steps which lead to Rua 25 de Abril.
As it was a large group (four adults and five children) they walked in a spaced out manner along the street some walking ahead, some further behind.
She does not remember how they were divided.

The witness remembers that upon reaching the top of the steps, she looked to her left and saw a man (1) with a girl (2) in his arms, walking along the path Rua 25 de Abril.
 He was walking in their direction at a distance of, more or less, two metres.

The witness crossed to the other side of Rua 25 de Abril and began walking up Rua da Escola Primária, in the direction of the Estrela da Luz complex.

She did not see if the individual in question carrying the child descended the Rua das Escadinhas or if he continued along Rua 25 de Abril.

It was the first time she saw that man. She does not remember seeing him before at any time anywhere.

She has now seen photographs of Madeleine McCann and thinks that it could have been the missing girl. When asked she says that she is about 60% certain.

The description made below of the individual that the witness saw was at around 22H00, when the lighting was tenuous.

When asked, she says that she would probably not be able to recognise the individual or the child.

Personal Description:

(1) the individual was male, Caucasian, light-skinned, between 20/30 years of age, of normal complexion, normal physique, around 1.70/1.75 metres in height.
At the time she saw him, she did see his face but now cannot remember.
 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, light brown in colour, short at the back (normal) and a bit longer on the top.

The trousers he was wearing were smooth straight-legged trousers, light beige in colour, of a cotton type material, thicker than linen, possibly with buttons and without any patterns.
She did not see what he was wearing on his top half as the child covered almost completely what he was wearing and she had no idea of what it could have been.

As regards his shoes she cannot say anything because she did not see them.

The individual's gait was normal, being able to distinguish it between walking quickly and running. He did not appear tired and walked normally while carrying the child.

(2) As regards the child the witness says she was female because she had long smooth hair, neck length, fair/brown in colour.

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 on the front of the individual’s body.
She appeared to be sleeping.
Her arms were suspended along her own body and were not wrapped around the individual who was carrying her.
She did not look at the child's hands and cannot state the colour of her skin, having the feeling that it was white.

There was nothing covering the child, a comforter/blanket or any other piece of clothing but because of the girl’s position, she only saw her from the back.

She was wearing light coloured trousers, white or light pink-coloured that may have been pyjamas. She does not remember if they were patterned as it was dark. The material was fine and could have been cotton.

She also had a light coloured 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, saying only that it was light in colour.

When questioned regarding her shoes, she responds that she did not remember seeing any, not knowing if she was wearing shoes or not.

When asked to tell the truth, she states that what she has just stated is the truth of the facts, according to her knowledge.

And nothing more was said. Having read the statement and finding it in conformity, she ratifies and signs together with her interpreter.