Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Maddy McCann: shock over secret Portuguese police files

Maddy McCann
Maddy McCann
Photo issued by Everton Football Club of Madeleine McCann.
Still taken from undated Madeleine Fund handout video of Madeleine McCann
Police have been urged to hand over their files on missing Madeleine McCann
This illustration released Friday, May 1, 2009 by Harpo Productions Inc., shows a photo, left, and an age-progressed image, right, of Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who was 4 when she disappeared from a hotel room in Portugal on May 3, 2007. The age-progressed image, created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, depicts what Madeleine may look like at age 6. Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann taped an interview with Oprah Winfrey on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago on April 24, 2009. The exclusive interview is scheduled to air in the United States on Monday, May 4 and in the United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 5. (AP Photo/Harpo Productions Inc., National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) **NO SALES**
The dramatic difference between the known picture of Madeleine McCann, aged 3, and how she may look now, two years later
Madeleine McCann
Still taken from video of Madeleine McCann
Still taken from video of Madeleine McCann
Gerry McCann and his wife, Kate
Madeleine McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing toddler Madeleine, walk to mass y at their local Catholic church, the Sacred Heart in Rothley, England
Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann as they give a statement at the Rothley Court Hotel, in Rothley, Leicestershire after they were formally cleared by the Portuguese authorities of involvement in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance .
Madeleine McCann
Kate and Gerry McCann, with twins Sean and Amelie, arrive at East Midlands airport, England
Bouchra Ahmed Ben Aissa, 3, is seen at her home in Zinat, northern Morocco, Wednesday, Sept, 26, 2007. Bouchra is thought to be the Moroccan girl who was photographed by a Spanish tourist in Zinat and who was suspected of being British missing toddler Madeleine McCann. Madeleine vanished from the Portuguese resort Praia da Luz on May 3, soon before her fourth birthday.

Investigators searching for Madeleine McCann must have access to previously unseen files held by Portuguese police, a spokesman for her parents said.

The files reportedly comprise hundreds of pages of information, including CCTV images that show a young girl who looks like Madeleine being led into a New Zealand supermarket in 2007.

Several British newspapers have published the image, along with details of other possible sightings from the files.

One report mentions a British man called George who saw a small, distressed blonde girl being dragged along a road to Faro airport in Portugal on the night she went missing.

Another details how a young girl who looked like Madeleine was seen being held at gunpoint on a French motorway by a half-naked man in August 2008.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell called on the information to be released to the McCann family's investigators.

He said: "Kate and Gerry have made it clear that they were shocked to see the lack of follow-up work done by the Portuguese police since the investigation was shelved. All the information in these files must go to the private investigators as they are the only people still looking for Madeleine."

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve village of Praia da Luz on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby. Despite a massive police operation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found. Four months after she disappeared, Portuguese police made both Mr and Mrs McCann "arguidos", or formal suspects, in the case.

Two days later, on September 9 2007, they returned to Britain with their two other children, twins Sean and Amelie. In July 2008, the Portuguese attorney general shelved the investigation and lifted the arguido status of Mr and Mrs McCann.

The couple insist they will continue to believe Madeleine is still alive until presented with firm evidence to the contrary and have vowed to keep looking for her for as long as it takes.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz