The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If
you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use
the contact/email details
On 21 July 2008, the Portuguese attorney-general's office announced that the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance
was to be archived, pending further evidence.
The arguido status of the three suspects; Gerry McCann, Kate McCann and Robert Murat was lifted.
Kate and Gerry McCann hold a press conference after their arguido status is lifted
As police close Maddie case, McCanns face new agony over book by former investigation chief, 21
As police close Maddie case, McCanns face new agony over book by former investigation chief Daily Mail
By VANESSA ALLEN
Last updated at 1:38 AM on 21st July 2008
Kate and Gerry McCann are expected to be told
today that the inquiry into their daughter's disappearance is being shelved.
But in a heartbreaking blow, a book by the disgraced former head of the investigation will be published
on Thursday promising 'explosive revelations' about the inquiry.
The memoir by Goncalo Amaral reportedly contains allegations that Madeleine died accidentally in her parents'
care, and that they disposed of her body to cover up the death.
The McCanns, both 40, vehemently deny the claims.
Mr Amaral, 48, authorised the decision to name the McCanns as official suspects in their daughter's disappearance.
He was widely criticised for ignoring potential leads because of his focus on the couple and his rigid
belief that Madeleine died in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 last year.
Many of the lurid smears and bizarre leaks from inside the police inquiry were also rumoured to have come
They stopped abruptly when he was removed from the case last October.
Friends of the McCanns said their legal team would study his book, provisionally titled True Lies, and
had not ruled out bringing libel proceedings against him.
It is set to hit the shelves three days after Portugal's attorney general is expected to announce the
police inquiry will be 'archived'.
Despite Portugese police giving up on the 15-month investigation over Madeleine, the couple have yet to
learn whether they will remain official suspects.
Under Portuguese law prosecutors are not required to clear suspects when a case is closed, unless evidence
is found to categorically prove their innocence.
There have been examples of people remaining suspects - or arguidos - for years.
But the McCanns' lawyers and the level of interest in the case could force officials to concede the lack
of evidence against them.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, said the couple hoped they would be cleared of suspicion and
allowed to concentrate on the search for Madeleine, but that they did not know if that would happen.
He refused to comment about the claims in Mr Amaral's book but said: 'It's a great shame that people seem
more interested in making money out of Madeleine's disappearance instead of helping the search for her.'
Mr Amaral told Portuguese media he remained convinced Madeleine died in her parents' rented apartment
and claimed he was sacked as he tried to bring a key witness to Portugal.
Last week attorney general Fernando Pinto Monteiro stepped in to promise a 'solution' to case.
He ordered prosecutors to advise him whether any further investigations needed to be carried out or if
the inquiry could be archived.
Sources close to the inquiry said Mr Monteiro was anxious to resolve the case today before leaving on
his annual holiday.
A decision to close the case could also lead to the strict secrecy laws being lifted.
This which would open the case files to public scrutiny and allow Mr Amaral to publish his book.
The McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, said he expected the book to amount to 'speculation'.
He said the couple's legal team was more interested in gaining access to the case files.
If the McCanns' private detectives uncover new evidence they could ask prosecutors to reopen the case
at any time.
Mr Amaral was sacked as the head of the inquiry in October after he claimed British police only investigated
leads which suited the McCanns and he took early retirement last month.
But he is also facing a perjury trial over claims he helped cover up the torture of the mother of another
missing girl in the Algarve by some of his officers.
Page last updated at 07:08 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 08:08 UK
Portugal's attorney general is to
make a statement about the Madeleine McCann case, amid reports that the inquiry into her disappearance will be shelved.
Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro has said that he will announce a "solution" to the police investigation.
The child's parents and a third British national, Robert Murat, have been named "arguidos" or official
suspects, but this status could now be ended.
Madeleine, of Rothley, Leicestershire, disappeared on 3 May 2007, aged three.
Portuguese media had previously reported that the 14-month long investigation would be closed because
of a lack of evidence.
Detectives submitted their final report at the start of July to prosecutors.
Kate and Gerry McCann, Madeleine's parents, have said they want their own private investigators to see
detectives' files so they can keep looking for their daughter.
If the case is shelved, lawyers for Mr and Mrs McCann and Mr Murat will gain access to police papers and
the official investigation into Madeleine's disappearance will stop.
However, it could be reopened if fresh evidence came to light.
Mr and Mrs McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the couple would not comment in advance of the
attorney general's statement.
He added: "Obviously they are aware of numerous reports suggesting that the case is about to be shelved.
"If that is the case they hope that it is made very clear that their arguido status is revoked and they
hope to gain access to the police files so that their private investigators can continue the search for Madeleine.
"At the end of the day that is the most important thing - finding their daughter and keeping the search
Earlier this month Mr Murat received a £600,000 settlement and apology after a libel claim over allegations
in 11 UK newspapers.
In March Mr and Mrs McCann reached a libel settlement and got an apology from Express Newspapers for suggesting
they were responsible for her death.
The McCanns and Mr Murat both strongly denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.
CBS News video, 21 July 2008
CBS News video
21st July 2008
After her disappearance one year ago, no
one knows what happened to Madeleine McCann. Portuguese authorities are expected to officially clear her parents as suspects.
Sheila MacVicar reports.
DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims, 21
DNA error by British experts led to McCanns being accused, leaked report claims Daily Mail
By DAILY MAIL REPORTER
Last updated at 11:48 AM on 21st July 2008
Two key blunders led to Kate and Gerry McCann
being declared suspects in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance, a leaked report claims today.
One of the mistakes relating to DNA tests on samples collected in Portugal was made by the British Forensic
Science Service, the Portuguese document said.
The report, prepared by Portugal's attorney-general, Fernando José Pinto Monteiro, claims the two crucial
errors led to the doctors from being made 'arguidos' in the case.
It was revealed as Mr Monteiro prepared to formally clear the McCanns, both doctors from Rothley, Leicestershire,
and shelve the case.
According to today's report, the Policia Judiciaria - Portugal's criminal investigation department - were
told that DNA evidence found in the couple's hire car, on the window sill of their holiday apartment and in the car park of
the apartment complex, belonged to Madeleine.
The report claims it was categorically given as her DNA and as a result the McCanns were questioned and
later made suspects, according to London's Evening Standard.
But exactly one month later the forensic service wrote another report saying it could not be sure those
findings were correct or whether the samples belonged to Madeleine, her younger sister Amelie or her mother.
The claim is likely to cause the FSS embarrassment. Last week representatives of the service went out
to Portugal with Leicestershire police to try to prevent the information being made public.
The second error was that when 'cadaver dogs' smelled the scent of death in the apartment where Madeleine
disappeared, detectives did not take into account that Mrs McCann, who is a GP, had come into contact with six patients who
died before she went on holiday.
Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police officer and a child protection expert, who has knowledge of the
report, which dedicates 50 pages to the DNA evidence, said it was 'damning'.
'The FSS was out in Portugal on a damage limitation exercise,' he said. 'They will lose credibility over
There is also strong condemnation of the police for paying too much attention to the media and evidence
given by the dining friends the Tapas seven is criticised as they are accused of contradicting each other.
The report also talks about two key witnesses. One who contacted the police on 26 May saying he saw Mr
McCann carrying Madeleine away from the apartment on the night she disappeared later retracted his statement.
The other witness spoke of the behaviour of the McCanns throughout their stay in Portugal.
According to the report, the police visited 443 homes in the area, sightings were examined and ruled out
and they also looked at all land, sea, and air escape routes.
The report says there is a strong belief by both British and Portuguese police that Madeleine is dead.
As they waited for news of the report, the McCanns were aiming to spend today as routinely as possible.
Mr McCann, a consultant cardiologist, intended to 'go to work as normal' at the Glenfield Hospital in
Madeleine vanished only six days before her fourth birthday on 3 May last year. Her parents, both 40,
launched an international campaign to search for her.
Fourteen months on, the Policia Judiciaria is no closer discovering what happened to her.
It is understood that even if the case is shelved, the files will be periodically reviewed and could be
reopened if new evidence emerges.
Once they are cleared, the McCanns, who have two other children, twins Sean and Amelie, will fight for
access to all the police documentation to give to their own private investigators so they can continue the search for their
The couple have already secured access to some of the files on the case after Leicestershire police agreed
to share 81 pieces of information with them - relating to tip-offs and possible sightings - received in the early stages of
the investigation last year.
The two parties reached the compromise at the High Court in London earlier this month.
Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman for the family, said: 'The hope is that they will be given access to
the files. This will be a chance to reinvigorate the case.'
The McCanns' private investigators, Spanish-based Metodo 3, as well as a British-based agency will now
conduct their own inquiries.
Madeleine vanished from her family's holiday apartment in the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz, as her parents
dined in a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.
The third arguido Algarve property consultant Robert Murat, 34, is also expected to have his 'arguido'
Despite Portuguese legal moves, the McCanns were also bracing themselves today for more emotional turmoil
as the policeman in charge of the original investigation was revealed to be publishing a 'tell-all' book this week.
Gonçalo Amaral, who was sacked as head of the inquiry in October, took early retirement last month.
Mr Amaral, 48, authorised the decision to name the McCanns as official suspects and his book, called True
Lies, will be released in Portugal this week.
Kate and Gerry McCann are widely expected to be
formally cleared by the Portuguese authorities of involvement in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance today.
Portugal's attorney general, Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro, has promised to announce a "solution" to a
case that began when the young girl vanished on May 3 last year.
But it is believed that police and prosecutors will be forced to admit they cannot prove what happened
to Madeleine and must therefore shelve the inquiry.
More than 14 months after the child went missing, Mr and Mrs McCann, both 40, from Rothley, Leicestershire,
remain "arguidos", or formal suspects, in the case.
In recent weeks Portuguese newspapers, citing anonymous sources, have repeatedly reported that police
have not found enough evidence to lay charges.
Detectives handed over their lengthy final report at the start of this month for prosecutors to consider
whether to bring charges, request further inquiries or close the case.
Mr Pinto Monteiro fuelled expectations of a major announcement today when he told reporters in the Portuguese
capital Lisbon last week: "The Maddie Case will have a solution on Monday and you will hear of it."
It is expected that the police files will be shelved, although they will be periodically reviewed and
could be reopened if new evidence emerges.
Under Portuguese law the authorities could still maintain the McCanns' arguido status -- but reports have
suggested this is unlikely to happen.
If the case is shelved, the McCanns, who are also the parents of twins, want their own private investigators
to be given access to detectives' papers so they can continue the search for their daughter.
The couple's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said they were waiting to hear that the attorney general had
to say and would not comment in advance.
He added: "Obviously they are aware of numerous reports suggesting that the case is about to be shelved.
"If that is the case they hope that it is made very clear that their arguido status is revoked and they
hope to gain access to the police files so that their private investigators can continue the search for Madeleine."
He added: "At the end of the day that is the most important thing -- finding their daughter and keeping
the search going."
Page last updated at 17:48 GMT,
Monday, 21 July 2008 18:48 UK
The police inquiry into
Madeleine McCann's disappearance has been shelved because of a lack of evidence, Portugal's attorney general has said.
Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, and a third British national, Robert Murat,
are no longer formal suspects, he also confirmed.
The McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, said they were "relieved", but there was "no degree of
Madeleine disappeared in Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007, aged three.
The McCanns and Mr Murat have all always strongly denied any involvement in Madeleine's
disappearance from her family's holiday apartment in the Algarve.
Attorney-general Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro said the 14-month investigation had uncovered
no evidence of a crime by any of the suspects or "arguidos".
Speaking after the announcement, the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "It's
far too early to give their immediate reaction yet, but they are, of course, liaising closely with their lawyers in Portugal
"Once they have digested the content of the attorney-general's statement and any implications,
they will give a reaction a little later this evening."
Mr Mitchell said lawyers for the McCanns would be able to examine the police case files
by the end of the week.
The couple hope information within them could help their own private investigators continue
the search for their daughter.
"The main thing now is to get everything back to finding Madeleine. All of this has damaged
their good reputations and they will have to assess where they go from here," Mr Mitchell said.
In March, Mr and Mrs McCann reached a libel settlement and got an apology from Express
Newspapers for suggesting they had been responsible for Madeleine's death.
Detectives submitted their final report at the start of July to prosecutors.
The attorney general said the case could be reopened if new evidence emerged from any "serious,
pertinent and authoritative source".
Mr Murat told BBC News he had been "very relieved" when he heard the news with family and
friends in the UK.
He said: "I think it will take a couple more days to sink in and become reality.
"It's been completely devastating. It's a case of rebuilding from now. My immediate plans
now are to spend some time with my family."
Mr Murat's aunt Sally Eveleigh told the BBC the news was "amazing".
She said her nephew had only been trying to help with the search for Madeleine when he
was declared a suspect.
"We're all taught in Britain to help others and this is what happens," she said.
Last week Mr Murat received a £600,000 settlement and apology after he brought a libel
action over allegations about him in 11 British newspapers.
Earlier, in an interview with the BBC, Goncalo Amaral - the former police chief who once
led the Madeleine inquiry - said he believed she was dead.
"The evidence that we had gathered by the time that I left the case pointed to the girl
being dead - and having died inside the apartment," he said.
"I don't know what happened next, I can't say. We'll have to wait for the case files to
be made public."
Mr Amaral was removed from the case last October after reportedly criticising the British
He is now publishing a book about the investigation and denied that Portuguese police had
failed to carry it out properly.
Page last updated at 16:50 GMT,
Monday, 21 July 2008 17:50 UK
The announcement that
Portuguese prosecutors have shelved the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance will be a bitter disappointment
to those who believe that, with more work, she might yet be found.
It is also a huge embarrassment for police.
Though the Portuguese authorities have long stressed that searches for missing children
everywhere have a low success rate, they have been accused of specific failings.
First, local police were criticised for failing immediately to seal off the apartment from
which the three-year-old disappeared on the night of 3 May.
They were also accused of not alerting the authorities in neighbouring Spain swiftly enough
that a child was missing.
But above all, the force handling the criminal investigation, the Policia Judiciaria (PJ),
took the daring step last September of declaring Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, arguidos - or formal suspects
- in the investigation.
It is now clear they did that without the evidence to back up their suspicions that the
couple were involved in her disappearance.
The PJ's national director later described the decision last September as "hasty".
In fact, the status of arguido is designed to provide a person with protection - the right
to remain silent and to have a lawyer present - that witnesses do not have.
So police are legally obliged to declare someone an arguido if they put questions that
indicate they suspect them of a crime.
Such questions were put to the McCanns, according to friends of the couple, in interviews
last September in which they were declared arguidos.
But this status laid the by-now famous couple open to frenzied speculation, fuelled by
apparent police leaks to local newspapers, picked up by British tabloids.
In the end, after separate libel actions, the McCanns and the other official suspect in
the case, local British expat Robert Murat, won huge sums as a result.
'Blood and odour'
Another criticism of police is that the McCanns' holiday apartment was rented out again
before all possible forensic work was done.
It was only in July last year that highly trained sniffer dogs were flown in from the UK.
They found what was thought to be blood and an odour suggesting the previous presence of
a dead body in the flat and in a car hired by the McCanns some weeks after Madeleine's disappearance.
These were among the findings that prompted the dramatic shift in the police attitude to
Portuguese police have countered criticisms of a delay by saying they only learned of the
specialised dogs' existence when the British offered them.
In a recent interview with the BBC, former PJ inspector Goncalo Amaral, who co-ordinated
the investigation until October, when he was taken off the job, defended his work.
"Let's wait, and people will see [from the files] that the Portuguese police and the British
police did a good job - various British agencies were involved," he said.
"We tried, and we worked hard. So we can't be accused of incompetence or failure."
Many Portuguese were deeply offended at British press jibes against the PJ, which is one
of the country's most respected institutions.
At times, those feelings spilled over into resentment of the McCanns, and public suspicion
With the shelving of the investigation, Monday's statement makes clear, all three arguidos
see that damaging status lifted.
But the case can also be reopened if further evidence emerges to warrant "serious, pertinent
and consistent" investigation.
It is unusual for missing children cases to be shelved in any country.
But since Portuguese prosecutors were looking at the possibility not only of abduction
but also of homicide, neglect, and concealment of a corpse - as court documents seen by the BBC make clear - not shelving
the case would almost certainly mean the arguidos retaining that status unless someone else were charged.
Case files may open
The McCanns have also pressed for access to the case files - which were due to come open
next month anyway.
Two weeks ago, the couple secured access to 81 pieces of information in the possession
of Leicestershire police - thought to be potential leads phoned in by the public in the days after Madeleine's disappearance.
However, that falls far short of the thousands of items they had sought in a High Court
action, dropped after they reached their agreement with the Leicester-based force.
The case files can now be opened to parties with a "legitimate interest", suggesting that
the McCanns' private detectives could soon have myriad leads to follow.
At the same time, the files will attract many applications from the media, even if officials
remove items whose publication would mainly infringe privacy, such as copies of personal correspondence.
Some details from the case are set to appear in a book to be launched this week by Goncalo
In interviews given after his recent retirement, he batted away key questions about the
case because it was still under judicial secrecy.
By Bob Walker, BBC News in Rothley, Leicestershire
Page last updated at 17:26 GMT,
Monday, 21 July 2008 18:26 UK
The normal routine of village life was once again disrupted
as television crews and reporters from across the world spent the day camped in Rothley, the Leicestershire village that is
home to the McCanns.
In the centre of the village, next to the pub and a few yards from the post office, a candle
still burns brightly in a lamp holder to remind us that Madeleine is still missing.
It won't go out, they say, until Madeleine comes home.
People in Rothley have grown used to answering questions about the McCanns over the last
Although there is still sympathy and much support in the village square for the couple's
plight, there is also some criticism of their actions in Portugal.
Just outside the post office I met Ben Price, who offered total support.
"I think it's fantastic news for the McCanns. It must be a great relief and a great weight
off their shoulders," he said.
"They can concentrate on finding their daughter now. Hopefully the Portuguese police will
hand over some information to them and they might be able to make their own inquiries."
'It's been dreadful'
His remarks were echoed by Margaret Houghton, who said the lifting of the arguido status
was long overdue.
"I think it's been dreadful, they have enough to cope with," she said.
But Rachel Swan said although she was pleased for the McCanns, she still had concerns over
the disappearance of Madeleine.
"It still doesn't alter the fact that they left their children alone at night," she said.
"If it was me, a single parent, mother of one, I'd probably get lynched in this country
if I had left my child at home or on holiday like that."
And Leon Williamson said although he was glad that the McCanns were no longer considered
suspects, he was disappointed the investigation had been shelved.
"If it was your child that had gone missing, would you like the case to have been shelved?"
"I think they (the Portugese police) didn't have any options so they took the easy option
and accused them."
Page last updated at 19:16 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 20:16
Madeleine McCann's parents insist they
"will never give up" on her, despite the inquiry into her disappearance being shelved by Portuguese officials.
Kate and Gerry McCann and a third British national, Robert Murat, are also now no longer formal suspects.
The McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, said it had been "utterly despairing" to be suspects in the case, but
said: "Our priority has always been the search."
Mr Murat said he was "very relieved" at the decision.
Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on 3 May 2007,
just days before her fourth birthday.
The McCanns, both 39, and Mr Murat, 34, all strongly denied having had any involvement in what happened
On Monday, Portugal's attorney-general, Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro, lifted their suspect - or arguido
- status, saying the 14-month investigation had uncovered no evidence of a crime by any of them.
He said the case could be reopened if new evidence emerged from any "serious, pertinent and authoritative
Later Mrs McCann told a news conference in Rothley that while they welcomed the day's announcement, there
was "no cause for celebration".
"It's hard to describe how utterly despairing it was to be named arguido and subsequently portrayed in
the media as suspects in our own daughter's abduction and worse," she said.
"Equally, it has been devastating to witness the effect this status has had on the search for Madeleine.
"We look forward to scrutinising the police files to see what has actually been done and more importantly
what can still be done as we leave no stone unturned in the search for our little girl."
Mrs McCann thanked everyone who had supported the family, adding: "We can assure you we will never give
up on Madeleine."
Mr McCann said the couple had no immediate plans to return to Portugal.
When asked whether they would take legal action against the Portuguese authorities, he said the search
for Madeleine remained the priority and "anything else is secondary and will be considered in due course".
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said their lawyers would be able to examine the police case files
by the end of the week.
The couple hope information within them could help their own private investigators continue the search
for their daughter.
Mr Mitchell said the McCanns' suspect status had been a "complete distraction" and "entirely wrongly imposed".
He said the couple would now take time to "digest" the attorney-general's decision and "the implications
of what it means for them, for their reputations and for the wider search for Madeleine".
In March, Mr and Mrs McCann received a libel settlement of £550,000, which went to the fund set up to
find her, and an apology from Express Newspapers for suggesting they were responsible for her death.
And last week Mr Murat received a £600,000 settlement and apology after a libel action over allegations
about him in 11 UK newspapers.
Mr Murat, who lives with his mother in Praia da Luz, is currently in the UK with family and friends.
He told BBC News: "I think it will take a couple more days to sink in and become reality.
"It's been completely devastating. It's a case of rebuilding from now. My immediate plans now are to spend
some time with my family."
He also said he would like to know why he had been made an arguido.
Page last updated at 18:33 GMT,
Monday, 21 July 2008 19:33 UK
Kate and Gerry McCann welcome but will not celebrate being cleared of suspicion
in the disappearance of their daughter.
Speaking at a news conference in Rothley they pledged to continue the search
for their daughter Madeleine.
Kate McCann: We welcome the news today, although it is no cause for celebration.
It's hard to describe how utterly despairing it was, to be named
arguido, and subsequently portrayed in the media as suspects in our own daughter's
abduction, and worse.
Equally, it has been devastating to witness the detrimental effect this
status… status has had on the search for Madeleine.
forward to scrutinising the police files to see what has actually been done and, more importantly, what's still
to be done - as we leave no stone unturned in the search for our little girl.
We would once again urge anyone with
relevant information, who has not yet come forward, to please do so.
Please contact out hotline number on +44 8458384699
or visit our website on findmadeleine.com.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has supported us and stayed
with us during this particularly difficult period.
We can assure you we will never give up on Madeleine.
Clarence Mitchell: Rod Chaytor, from the Daily Mirror.
Yes, can you tell me please how much bitterness, or resentment, you might feel at having been left as arguidos for this great
length of time; this distracting from the search for Madeleine?
Kate McCann: A bit like I said
in my last statement really, it's been devastating because I truly believe it's had a very negative effect on the
search for Madeleine.
Clarence Mitchell: Kathryn Lister, The Sun.
Kate and Gerry, now that the arguido status has been lifted and you have the opportunity... I hope you have the opportunity
to see the police files, do you have any plans to return to Portugal?
Gerry McCann: We don't
have any immediate plans to return, errr... to Portugal at the minute, errr... obviously we want to digest, errm... the statement
and also, errr... to get access to the files to see what can still be done.
But it's a possibility that...
Kate McCann: The search will still go on.
Mitchell: [indecipherable under noise of cameras]
???: Do you have any plans to take
any legal action whatsoever against the Portuguese authorities?
Gerry McCann: Our priority, as
always, has been the search for Madeleine and that will be, errr... what we will be very much, errm... prioritising what we
do, in the coming weeks, to see what can still be done and getting access to information. Anything else is secondary
and will be considered in due course. Thank you.
Page last updated at 21:27 GMT,
Monday, 21 July 2008 22:27 UK
Madeleine McCann's parents insist they "will never give up"
on her, despite the inquiry into her disappearance being shelved by Portuguese officials.
Kate and Gerry McCann
and a third British national, Robert Murat, are also now no longer formal suspects.
Richard Bilton reports from
Praia da Luz
By Nigel Moore
Richard Bilton: (voice over) This was no victory. The McCanns have been through too much for that.
But at least the suggestion that they were somehow involved in their daughter's disappearance was gone.
McCann: We welcome the news today, although it is no cause for celebration. It's hard to describe how utterly
despairing it was, to be named arguido, and subsequently portrayed in the media as suspects in our own daughter's
abduction, and worse. Equally, it has been devastating to witness the detrimental effect this status… status has had
on the search for Madeleine.
Richard Bilton: (voice over) It started with a holiday. The McCanns
had been here, Apartment 5A, for nearly a week. But on a Thursday night, in May of last year, Madeleine McCann went to bed
and she was never seen again.
What followed was one of the biggest police operations in Portuguese history; more
than a hundred detectives. But months went by and never a breakthrough. Never a hope.
By last September, the McCanns
themselves were going through this [Kate McCann being jeered as she goes in for questioning]. Rumour had turned to police
questioning; had turned to suspect status.
But after all that, we know today pretty much what we knew on day one;
nothing. And the police have big questions to answer: Why was the flat not sealed? The borders not closed?
detective who was in charge in the early days says it's too soon to condemn.
Gonçalo Amaral: Let's wait and people
will see the Portuguese police and the British police did a good job. We tried and we worked hard, so we can't
be accused of incompetence or failure.
Ralph Eveleigh: (on phone) ...says he's not an arguido
Richard Bilton: (voice over) But then there is the other arguido.
Eveleigh: (on phone) I can't believe it.
Richard Bilton: (voice over) We were
with Robert Murat's family as he called in to say he was no longer a suspect.
(on phone) Oh, my God. That's fantastic.
Richard Bilton: (voice over) And I grabbed a
quick word with him.
Robert Murat: (on phone) It's one chapter over.
Now, the next... the rebuilding begins, errm... proper.
Richard Bilton: (voice over) But what
now for the McCanns? The search for their daughter stopped a whole country and now it's officially over.
camera) What the McCanns prayed for when they came to this church they still pray for now and that is that Madeleine will
be found and returned to them.
But what the shelving of the case means for the family is that they now want access
to the police files so that they can pass them on to their own investigation team, who will now take over the search for Madeleine.
It has come to that; the family following leads.
Fourteen months in and Praia da Luz has no answers, just
The police have stopped looking and Madeleine McCann never came back.
The parents of Madeleine McCann have promised to keep searching
for her after the police investigation into her disappearance was closed and they were cleared of any involvement.
Portugal's Attorney General announced earlier that the police investigation had
But Kate and Gerry McCann said they would continue to "leave no stone unturned" in their search.
The case was closed because of lack of evidence but could be reopened at any time if important information
comes to light, according to Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro's office.
The 14-month investigation uncovered no evidence of a crime by the three people named as arguidos or official
suspects, the McCanns and Robert Murat.
Their arguido status has now been lifted.
Speaking at a news conference in their home town of Rothley, Leicestershire, Mrs McCann said: "We welcome
the news today although it is no cause for celebration.
"It is hard to describe how utterly despairing it was to be named arguido and subsequently portrayed in
the media as suspects in our own daughter's abduction - and worse.
"Equally, it has been devastating to witness the detrimental effect this status has had on the search
Lawyers for the couple will be able to examine the police files relating to the investigation of Madeleine's
disappearance by the end of this week, according to their spokesman Clarence Mitchell.
Mrs McCann said: "We look forward to scrutinising the police files to see what has actually been done
and more importantly what can still be done as we leave no stone unturned in the search for our little girl.
"We would once again urge anyone with relevant information who has not yet come forward to please do so."
Sky's crime correspondent Martin Brunt said Mr and Mrs McCann would be hoping to find new leads from the
police file on the case.
Speaking from Praia da Luz, the resort where Madeleine went missing in May last year, he said:
"The McCanns and their lawyers will still be anticipating that they should get an early sight of the police file, enough to
give them and their private investigators new leads to follow.
"Everything in that file will have been investigated by Portuguese authorities to some degree.
"But the McCanns think there is a possibility in some areas that their own investigators can do better."
Jul 21, 2008
Madeleine McCann Case Is Closed
Portugese police have released a statement declaring the investigation into her disappearance will be
shelved. The statement said Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry have been cleared as suspects in the case. Sky's Crime Correspondent
Martin Brunt reports.
Jul 21, 2008
'It's No Cause For Celebration'
Gerry and Kate McCann have spoken about their anguish at being named as official suspects in the case
of their missing daughter. The McCanns read a statement to the media after Portugese police shelved the case and lifted their
Jul 22, 2008
Court Warning To McCann Police
The parents of Madeliene McCann could sue Portuguese police if official files show they were incompetent.
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell spoke to Sky's Eamonn Holmes after the papers were turned over to private detectives working
for the family.
Madeleine McCann: Kate and Gerry McCann officially cleared of 'arguido' status, 22
Madeleine McCann: Kate and Gerry McCann officially cleared of 'arguido' status Telegraph
and Gerry McCann have been officially cleared of any involvement in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine as the Portuguese
police investigation into the case was finally shelved.
By Nick Britten and Fiona Govan
Last updated: 9:14AM BST 22 Jul 2008
Ten months after first being declared official suspects - or "arguidos" in Portuguese law, the McCanns said there was "no
celebration" at the news and demanded immediate access to the police files to help their own search for the missing five-year-old.
They said: "It's hard to describe how utterly despairing it was for us to be named arguidos and to subsequently portrayed
in the media as suspects in our own daughter's disappearance.
"It's been equally devastating to witness the detrimental affect this status has had on the search for Madeleine."
Portugal's attorney-general, Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro, said the police had found no evidence linking the McCanns, or
fellow suspect Robert Murat, to Madeleine's suspected abduction, and lifted all conditions imposed on them.
A year and two months after Madeleine, then three, disappeared, detectives have failed to establish a credible theory about
He said the investigation could be re-opened if new evidence came to light, but only if it was "new, serious and relevant".
In a statement, he said: "The case involving Madeleine McCann will be shelved following the decision by the two magistrates
in charge that no evidence was found to implicate the arguidos.
"Hereby the condition of all three arguidos ceases - and the bail measures imposed upon the same have expired."
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the couple's lawyers would be making an immediate application for full
access to the police files so they could follow up any new leads.
They have 20 days to appeal the decision to drop the case, although this is unlikely to happen. After that period limited
access will be made available to other interested parties.
He said: "This shows them to be the wronged couple they are it is an absolute priority that the information in the police
files be passed onto Gerry and Kate's team of private investigators.
"There are thousands of pieces of information in that file, it cannot sit on a shelf in Lisbon gathering dust. That would
be wrong and immoral.
"Since last September this whole thing has been a distraction in their hunt to find Madeleine. That hunt will continue."
Mr McCann, a consultant cardiologist, found out the news by text as he remained determined to carry out a normal days'
work at Leicester's Glenfield hospital.
Mrs McCann was at home looking after her three-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie. Both had expected their arguido status
to be lifted after reports emerged from Portugal earlier this month that the case was being shelved.
Carlos Pinto de Abreu, the Portuguese lawyer acting for the McCanns, said he would be applying for access to the police
files on Tuesday morning.
He said: "From now on, taking as a starting point what has and has not been accomplished, the search will continue. We
won't give up searching for Madeleine."
Mr and Mrs McCann were never arrested but were declared arguidos - persons of interest to the investigation - last September
on the Portuguese police's belief that DNA evidence provided by the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham linked them to
Madeleine's disappearance. But further tests showed that evidence to be inconclusive.
Detectives handed over their lengthy final report at the start of this month for prosecutors to consider whether to bring
charges, request further inquiries or close the case.
The McCanns, both 40, from Rothley, Leics, hope their legal team will be able to start going through the filed by the end
of the week and hope what they find will invigorate their hunt for Madeleine.
They recently increased their team of investigators, paid out of the Find Madeleine Fund, in readiness to access the police
files, and also the names of 81 witnesses which Leicestershire police had on file and have agreed to hand over.
They will also be keen to study a book being published on Thursday written by Goncalo Amaral, the officer who led the investigation
in its early days before he resigned in October.
Madeleine was three when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007 as her parents dined
in a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.
Kate and Gerry McCann cleared over Madeleine disappearance, 22
Kate and Gerry McCann cleared over Madeleine disappearance Timesonline
By Hollye Blades
July 22, 2008
The parents of Madeleine McCann said that there
was no cause for celebration after they were cleared by the Portuguese authorities yesterday, 14 months after the disappearance
of their daughter.
After the investigation was shelved, Gerry and Kate McCann described their "utter despair" at being named
as suspects. The Portuguese police announced that they had lifted the arguido (suspect) status from the couple and
were shelving the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in May last year.
The arguido status was also lifted from Robert Murat, the British property developer living in
Portugal who was the first man to be named as a suspect.
Speaking in Rothley, Leicestershire, yesterday the McCanns, both 40, described the devastating impact
of being labelled suspects and the effect this had on the investigation.
Mrs McCann said: "We welcome the news today but it is in no way cause for celebration. It is hard to describe
how utterly despairing it was to be named arguidos and subsequently portrayed in the media as suspects in our own daughter's
abduction. It has been equally devastating to witness the detrimental effect this status has had on the search for Madeleine."
Mr McCann refused to confirm whether the couple would take legal action against the Portuguese authorities,
saying: "Our priority has always been to search for Madeleine. Anything else is secondary and will be considered in due course."
He added that the family had no immediate plans to return to Portugal.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, said the couple's lawyers would be making an immediate application
for full access to the police files so they could follow up any leads.
He said: "There is a degree of relief but no air of celebration whatsoever. They should never have been
arguidos. This shows them to be the wronged couple they are."
Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro, Portugal's Attorney-General, told police to halt the investigation into
of Madeleine's disappearance.
A statement released by his office confirmed that it had decided to "close the file on the investigation
concerning the disappearance of the minor Madeleine McCann due to lack of evidence that any crime was committed by the persons
placed under formal investigation".
The files have been archived but they will be reviewed periodically and could be reopened if new evidence
emerges, he said.
Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment on May 3, 2007, as her
parents dined in a nearby restaurant with friends.
Police named Mr Murat, 34, as their first suspect but later focused their investigation on the McCanns.
All three have strenously denied any involvement.
Mr Murat also welcomed the clearing of his name, adding: "It doesn't take away from the fact that there
is still a child missing, which is very sad. It would be better to be cleared and know exactly what happened, and have a feeling
of finality, but that hasn’t happened."
According to reports yesterday, one key error that led to the McCanns being declared suspects was made
by Britain’s own Forensic Science Service.
The report, apparently from the Portuguese authorities and which was leaked to the London Evening Standard
newspaper, states that the Policia Judiciaria, Portugal's criminal investigation department, was told that DNA evidence found
in the couple's hire car, on the window sill of their holiday apartment and in the car park of the apartment complex, belonged
The document claims that it was given categorically as her DNA and as a result the McCanns were questioned
and later made suspects. But, one month later, the forensic service wrote another report saying that it could not be sure
that those findings were correct.
Madeleine McCann - Family are victims of bungling and incompetence, 22 July 2008
Madeleine McCann - Family are victims of bungling and incompetenceLiverpool Echo
By PADDY SHEENAN
JUL 22 2008
Chief feature writer Paddy Shennan reports on how Madeleine McCann has been badly
let down by those investigating her disappearance
MOVE over Inspector Clouseau and the Keystone Cops, you no longer appear to be quite so clueless.
So this was what Portugal's attorney general, Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro, meant by a "solution" was
A near 15-month-long case, characterised by gross incompetence and almost- unbelievable ineptitude, is
being shelved, with the police having about as many clues now as they did on day one.
Calamitous cock-ups together with diversionary and devastatingly damaging leaks to the press solved nothing,
but caused untold misery and heartache.
There are many innocent victims of what has laughably been called the "investigation" into the disappearance
of Madeleine McCann – but Madeleine, herself, is the biggest victim of them all.
How refreshing – and honest and right – it would have been if those at the cutting edge of
this inquiry had come out and begged for Kate and Gerry McCann's forgiveness.
But instead of receiving the apology they so richly deserve for being so badly let down, Madeleine's parents
have instead been basically told: "We haven't got a clue – so we're giving up."
Again, it would have been expecting too much for the police to say: "We've not only made a pig's ear of
looking for your daughter, but added insult to injury by dragging your good names through the mud."
No one is disputing that this, the abduction of a young child in a sleepy holiday resort, presented the
Portuguese police with a particularly difficult challenge.
But the seemingly overawed detectives didn't help themselves by making fundamental mistakes – like
failing to preserve the crime scene.
And unused to being under the glare of the international media, they were like rabbits caught in headlights
– frozen in fear and unable to act. Yet they alienated people by appearing arrogant. They were not going to be rushed
– either by desperate parents at the end of their tether or an army of reporters hungry for information.
Their stubborn, blinkered and bloody-minded approach was aided and abetted by Portugal's secrecy laws,
which hindered rather than helped.
Within hours of Madeleine's disappearance, an ocean of goodwill engulfed Praia da Luz. Everyone wanted
to help because everyone wanted the same thing. A little girl had gone missing and her family, the mass media and countless
millions of people wanted her to be found safe and well – and as quickly as possible.
Portugal's secrecy laws are supposed to smooth the wheels of justice, but they ended up sending this investigation
careering off the rails. By building and then maintaining their deafening wall of silence, the police caused dismay and created
They also created a vacuum, which the more irresponsible members of the Portuguese and British press were
happy to fill.
It was a calamitous cocktail of precious few facts mixed together with a mountain of fiction.
The biggest and most poisonous of smokescreens began choking our senses last September, when Madeleine’s
mum and dad were made arguidos.
As Kate's despairing father, Brian Healy, said at the time: "I think Charlie Cairoli the clown must be
in charge of the investigation."
Justine McGuinness, the McCann family's then campaign manager, said police believed Madeleine's DNA had
been found in the couple's car ... hired 25 days after she went missing.
If there had been disquiet at the circus surrounding the first named arguido, Robert Murat – who
sections of an out-of-control media appeared to presume guilty on the basis that they thought he looked shifty – it
now seemed clear that this was an investigation with no place whatsoever for reason and common sense.
That it has taken this long to lift their arguido status is another indictment of the police.
Amid all the lies and distortions being peddled in Portugal, an enlightened piece of journalism appeared
in the leading Lisbon newspaper Diaro de Noticias last December.
Columnist João Miguel Tavares talked of the need for the media in Portugal to "make a serious analysis
of its role in the tragedy and activate mechanisms to stop it from behaving again as a ping-pong table throwing too many lies
and too little information".
He also wrote that it was now "as likely that the case will be solved as penguins starting to fly" and
referred to the "it will go away" attitude that people in Portugal have, adding: "I suppose this is now also the strategy
of the detectives leading this case – let's keep quiet and soon nobody will remember ... In the PJ (Polícia Judiciária)
all they dream about now is the silence of the archives."
And now, they have it.
But while the police in Portugal may have given up on Madeleine, her family haven't – and they never
Kate's Liverpool-based mum and dad didn't want to comment on the news from Portugal. They instead wished
to focus on the family's ongoing search.
Susan Healy told me: "We yearn for the safe return of Madeleine and we thank all the many people who have
supported us with their prayers and good wishes.
"We ask that they continue to support us as we continue to search for Madeleine. May God bless them all,
we will never forget their kindness."
Their dignity is in stark contrast to the crass opportunism being shown by the disgraced former head of
the investigation, Goncalo Amaral, whose grubby book, out this Thursday, reportedly promises "explosive revelations" about
Just in case he, and anybody else, needs reminding, Madeleine McCann went missing 446 days ago –
and she is still missing.
Looking back: Comments on the achiving of the 'Maddie Case' - One year ago, 05 August 2009
António Pires de Lima, lawyer, former head of the Portuguese Lawyers' Order:
Concerning the "Maddie case", the lawyer states that "the responsibility lies with the child's parents themselves who,
when they were visited by the PJ for the first time, while being credible persons, at least professionally, they gave a wrong
direction concerning the disappearance". Therefore, he considers that "the authorities were directed into the wrong direction"
given that "this is the only way that it is possible to understand that a police force that has produced so many results in
their investigations didn't discover anything further".
O Diabo, 15.07.2008
João Palma, Secretary General of the Public Ministry's Magistrates' Union:
About the "Maddie case", on the brink of prescription, he considers that "the risk is not of prescription". "If it is
archived, there may be a reopening of the inquiry and the investigation if new pieces of evidence are collected at a later
date, as so often is the case," he recalls, adding that "one of the system's defaults lies in allowing for a removal of guilt,
as if the institutions' interest was contradictory or conflicting". "Effectively, in terms of criminal investigation, the
present legal regime does not allow for an effective coordination between the Public Ministry as the owner of the inquiry
and of the penal action, and the criminal police organs, including the PJ, that depend from the political tutorship," he concludes.
O Diabo, 15.07.2008
Luís Menezes Leitão, lawyer, former candidate for head of the Lawyers' Order:
"Now, it's a normal fact that not every process under investigation leads to an accusation, and even when they do, the
accusation cannot always be proved in court," he recalls, adding that, on the other hand, "one process, with high media exposure,
does not justify that it is treated in a different manner from all other processes".
O Diabo, 15.07.2008
Alípio Ribeiro, former National Director of the Polícia Judiciária:
"Maybe it would have been more reasonable to have ceased the arguido status of those that were made [arguidos] and to
have continued the investigation in another context of process" (...) For Alípio Ribeiro, who was responsible for the investigative
police force when the little English girl disappeared, the Maddie case "Should not be closed so early", lamenting that the
Public Ministry doesn't have "a culture of revisiting the inquiries that regard more serious crimes that were archived due
to a lack of evidence".
Diário IOL, 22.07.2008
Almeida Rodrigues, National Director of the Polícia Judiciária:
"What I consider to be important is that the Polícia Judiciária will continue to follow every lead that may appear, and
hope to do so in silence, without noise and obviously without the presence of the media," the PJ's National Director, Almeida
Rodrigues, told Lusa agency today.