Madeleine – Sílvia Batista

The next person to be interviewed in Dec 2014, Sílvia Maria Correia Ramos Batista, makes more sense.

Her first statement was made on 7 May 2007.

Sílvia was Head of Maintenance and Services and had worked in the Ocean Club since 1986. She was responsible for taking on employees and looking after the functioning of flats, pools, gates etc.. Her husband, João Carlos Silva Batista, was responsible for the same, but when that work was sub-contracted out to other companies.

She left for home in Lagos around 18:00 on 3 May 2007. At about 22:30, George Robin Crossland, called to inform her what had happened, and she headed for the resort. A search was started throughout Luz, and later the GNR arrived.

Her first statement is fairly uninformative. Her second statement moved things on. It was given on 15 May 2007, the day after Robert Murat was made an arguido.

She had known the Murats for about 30 years. Mr Murat had worked in construction and had died some years ago. She did not know if the Murats had a son.

Again, she says she was called by her boss (Crossland) about 22:30 on 3 May. When she arrived, there were about 60 people around 5A, looking for the girl. There was a man there, helping to search, and she found out later he was Robert Murat. She makes no mention of this man doing any translation at the time, but goes on to say he helped the GNR in Lagos, and the PJ, as a translator. She thought 3 other people would be able clarify if Robert was there.

She then says she first spoke to Robert in a break between translating statements. She was not sure if this was on 5 May, 6 May or 7 May.

It is clear from the time of Sílvia’s second statement that the PJ officers were trying to get independent verification as to whether Robert Murat was present on 3 May.

Sílvia Batista then went on to make a third statement, on 26 July 2007.

This time round, she was alerted between 22:30 and 23:00, and headed for the Ocean Club. She arrived shortly before the GNR. She went to apartment 5A, where there were several people inside the flat with a similar number outside. She entered the apartment but left straight away without speaking to anyone as she was told the GNR were at the Ocean Club 24 hour reception.

Gerry was there with another man she does not recognise. Gerry made a gesture like an Arab praying and he screamed twice. Gerry, the man and Sílvia went in the GNR car to apartment 5A. The she translated between the GNR and the family, and in that time postcard sized photos were obtained and passed to the GNR commander.

She says that she was aware the group insisted on ‘abducted’ rather than ‘disappeared’ and discussed calling the press, from the beginning.

She went into the bedroom with Gerry and the GNR, and Gerry described the state of the room when it had been discovered.

Sílvia goes on to explain the scene in the apartment, with many people entering and exiting. The PJ arrived and the twins were taken upstairs to apartment 5H (the Paynes). Sílvia was asked by Kate McCann to get some of the twins’ items from their bedroom in 5A, and she did.

At some point, Sílvia translated information from a lady (Jane Tanner). The lady had seen a man walking in the street, carrying a child.

By the time of her interview in December 2014, both Sílvia and her husband had been made redundant by the Ocean Club.

Sílvia appears to be in a position to provide information about a number of aspects of the case, including some of the people interviewed and the working procedures of the Ocean Club. However, this still seems like a methodical grind rather than surgical precision.

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