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


569 to 571 Witness statement of Luisa Ana de Noronha de Azevedo Coutinho 2007.05.08

03-Processos Vol III Pages 569 - 571


Date: 2007/05/08

Luisa Ana de Noronha de Azevedo Coutinho

Occupation: Receptionist

Place of work: Ocean Club

She has been a receptionist at the Garden for 1 year, but has worked there previously.

The OC Garden reception has less functions than the main reception and deals with subjects relating to activities (Pool, Tennis) etc and excursions.

She points out that the family in question came via Mark Warner and this company takes care of all relations with clients and there is practically no contact between the clients and reception.

She adds that this family (McCann), like all MW clients had half-board, that is breakfast and dinner. For dinner the guests could choose between two restaurants, the Tapas and the Millenium, the first being à  la carte and the second a buffet service, clients make their choice not only because of the food but because of the proximity of the restaurant to their accommodation. She says that the guests told her that the Tapas was of better quality but that it was difficult to reserve there as a MW guest as the MW daily quota was of only 20.

In this concrete case the reasonable option was the Tapas as the distance was only 40 metres from the accommodation as opposed to 200 m from the Millenium.

She remembers that on Sunday 29th April one of the elements of the group arrived with the child Madeleine McCann, she does not know his name and can only say that he was male and tall and thin and that he approached her to request a booking for the whole group, for the whole week and always at 20.30.

When questioned, she confirms that the man was not the father of the girl but one of the members of the group whom was often seen in his company.

The man justified his request by saying that the group had many small children whom they would leave alone when they went to dine. She said that at intervals some two parents would go to the apartments to see if everything was OK.

The deponent made some comments about the request, saying that the Tapas received many requests and that MW only had a quota of 20 per day, but upon the insistence of the guest she managed to make the bookings requested.

She confirms that it was possible to see the apartment from the restaurant, including the window of the sitting room.

She does not know in which bedroom the children were sleeping but upon being informed that it was on the opposite side of the apartment she confirmed that it would be completely out of sight from anyone at the restaurant.

That the most viable solution would be to leave the children with a baby sitter, which is the procedure normally adopted by clients.

Regarding the question as to the availability of the baby sitting service between 19.30 and 23.30, she confirms that the service exists and that it is free of charge.

When questioned, she says that she does not understand, as the service is free, why the parents of Madeleine McCann did not use it.

When asked she says that the contact with this family was normal, like with other clients and describes them as "nice".

With regard to the date of the disappearance she says that she worked from 09.00 to 19.00 and only returned at 08.00 on 4th May.

It was on this day at 08.30 when she arrived that she was informed about the disappearance by colleagues.

She only knows what third parties have told her and from what she has seen in the press.

She never saw anything strange. During this interview she provided a book with the reservations for the Tapas restaurant.

No more was said, reads, ratifies and signs.


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