The McCanns hold a press conference and take questions from the assembled media
Tuesday 22 May 2007
Gerry: "Good afternoon.
As you know, yesterday I spent the day in the UK attending a series of meetings. I met with our legal team
and the poilce and the discussions we had were extremely productive. Later on I also visited the incident room in Leicester
along with other family members, which was extremely informative and encouraging.
Kate and I are particularly pleased with the joint appeal organised by the British and Portuguese police. We
would encourage anyone who has photographs to submit them to the police. They can be uploaded on the website 'www . Madeleine
. CEOP upload . com'. I'll just give you that again, 'www . Madeleine . CEOP upload . com'. And we'd also be grateful
if you could give them any information which you think will assist the police on 0800 0961233.
Later on yesterday afternoon, I also had a meeting with the Madeleine's Fund directors and the trustee solicitor
responsible for setting up the Fund. With immediate effect we are going to try and appoint... appoint an interim manager
to asist in the management of the Fund and shortly we will be looking to appoint a campaign manager.
The campaign manager's role will be to extend and coordinate our family campaign, organised by ourselves and friends,
to keep Madeleine's profile high across Europe.
Kate and I will play a key part in that campaign. We will travel wherever is necessary to ensure people across Europe
recognise Madeleine's picture and we will encourage them to come forward with any information which might lead to Madeleine's
As you are aware, both of us have taken a great deal of strength from our faith in this... errm, very difficult time.
Tomorrow we want to visit the Shrine at Fatima to pray for Madeleine's return to us.
Kate: "Gerry's telling me about the overwhelming support he received yesterday...
errm, back home and especially his visit to Rothley. The love and messages he received are very moving.
Both of us are really grateful for all the support we've had. It keeps us... gives us strength and keeps us focussed.
And I can't emphasise that enough.
We're also overwhelmed by the response to the Fund and the number of people... errm, using the website
I want to thank everyone for everything they're doing. I strongly believe it well help us in our search
for Madeleine. So, thank you for that.
I would like to add that we're both really pleased that Paige, the young girl who went missing on Sunday, was safely
reunited with her parents yesterday.
Ian Woods (Sky News): "Gerry, I know that you've been getting lots of money
in. People will want to know how you're going to spend that. I mean, I know, one of the thoughts was to hire private investigators.
Is that the case and what input do you think they can have that perhaps the Portuguese police haven't had to date?"
Gerry: "Okay, I'll tell you the... the first thing in terms of the Fund
which... there's... there's no payments been made out the Fund yet and that's why we need the manager in.
Errm, there will be quite significant legal expenses and I've already explained to you since the legal team has come
in to advise us that has lifted a great burden from our shoulders. So, you know, there will be considerable expenses
The second thing is, we will fund the website which we think is a great vehicle for information regarding Madeleine's
disappearance. And there is links from our 'Find Madeleine . com' website back to the police appeal websites.
We will have administrative costs and I think the next major cost after that will be the campaign manager.
Taking your question on, back to the private investigators. I'd like to reiterate what we've already said. The thrust
of this investigation will be the criminal investigation which is being... errr, run by the Portuguese police with assistance
from the British police.
As you know, our family strongly believe that somebody in the public holds a key piece of information and that's
why we have campaigned so vigorously to make sure her disappearance is... errr, publicised as much as possible.
Regarding the specific point about the private investigators, we've taken advice about the level and the extensive resources
both in this country and in the UK which are being... errr, directed and... to Madeleine's search and, at this stage,
we don't see a role for private investigators."
BBC News: "Mr and Mrs McCann, for BBC News. Errm, you said you will travel across
Europe. Now, do you know when you're gonna go, where you're gonna go, is that dependant upon alleged sightings of Madeleine,
and also at some point, you're gonna have to go home?"
Gerry: "Okay, I think we'll take... take that as two points there.
The first point... errm, about sightings of Madeleine. We've clarified that with the British police if they... if the
information comes back to the British police, and I'm assuming it's the same for the Portuguese police if the information comes
through here, Interpol will direct local inquiries through local police and it will be done through the local authorities.
I think, if we weren't certain that those inquiries were conducted to our absolute... errr, satisfaction we could
consider sending someone out to investigate locally.
Tell me the second bit of your question?" (laughs)
BBC News: "At some point, you're gonna have to think about going home?"
Gerry: "Okay, you said about which bits of Europe we actually want to travel
to. Now that is... what we're going to do currently is monitor the media exposure... errr, throughout Europe, in
the first instance, and then we will decide along with our campaign manager and our press team that are around us
where we need to go to have maximum impact.
Regarding your question about going home, Kate and I are nowhere near ready to leave Portugal and head home."
Unidentified: "In terms of your international campaign. Should we read into
that... that Madeleine is in another country. What's your intuition as parents?"
Gerry: "I think what we can say at the minute is we don't know that she's
in Portugal, we don't know that, and therefore if we don't know that for certain we have to consider the possibility
that she has... errr, crossed borders.
Errm, and all we're doing is starting to spread... errr, the net, far and wide, until we get... and we are very...
I'd like to repeat, we are very hopeful that this latest appeal will lead to key information, whether it comes from Portugal
or the UK or further afield, but, you know, we just want to ensure that the net is spread far and wide, in the first
instance, and we are concentrating in continental Europe at this time."
Unidentified: "Can I... can I ask, that after so long, you've... you're now
19 days, do you have any... any new appeal or any new thoughts of sending a message to the person who took Madeleine?"
Gerry: "No, we're... we're going to wait and see what the response is
from this current appeal and we're here to re-emphasise that appeal and support it."
Jane Hill (BBC): "You said you were encouraged... "
Nick Robinson (BBC): "... they have a suspect. How much information are you
receiving from the police about the investigation here?"
Gerry: "Errr, I don't want to comment too much about the investigation. Errr, in
general terms, terms of suspects, and I know there's been a lot of media... errm, response to that.
I would say, as a family, and I hope that everyone else here treats all suspects the way that we would hope to be treated
and that they are presumed innocent until someone is charged, arrested and convicted of any criminal offence.
Errr, we have been assured by the British police that the information that we get is similar to what you would expect
to get at home. And, you know, we don't want too much detail. When there's real developments we want to know about them."
Sandra Felgueiras (RTP): "But did you know Robert Murat?"
Gerry: "I'm not going to comment on that." (coughs)
Jane Hill (BBC): "You said you were encouraged by... errr, speaking to the
police in... in Britain. I... I wonder... what words of encouragement they were able to give you or what it was that
gave you encouragement?"
Gerry: "We've already mentioned that... errr, positivity gives us
strength. There is a good feel when I was back home, everyone was vibrant - I don't know if that came from us in the
first place but, you know, there was a lot of really strong messages that people believe that Madeleine'll be returned safely,
as do we.
Errr, what was very encouraging about the incident room was seeing the number of people working there, how they processed
the information and the excellent state-of-the-art technology used to process that information.
And, there are many similarities, I would say, to what happens in medicine in terms of literature searching and
identifying things. And really, you know, we came away very reassured about how that information is processed and very importantly
fed back to the Portuguese police incident room here and they have a clear... errr, IT link which has been operating for
over 10 days.
So, all of that is encouraging."
Unidentified: "Gerry, it must have been difficult (inaudible) yourself
yesterday for the first time"
Clarence Mitchell: (aside to Gerry) "Make this the last one."
Gerry: "We'll make this the last question and maybe Kate and I can both comment
It was extremely difficult to leave here without Kate and when we went into Rothley, it was... you know, we should have
been coming home as a family of five. There's no doubt about that.
(aside to Kate) Do you have anything to say?"
Kate: (long pause) "I mean it was... it was quite moving for me to see Gerry
in Rothley and... errm, again it's just emphasised to us how much support we've got there and everywhere really and that really
Clarence Mitchell: (to McCanns) "Okay?"
Gerry McCann: (to media) "Thank you."
Kate McCann: (to media) "Thank you."
Clarence Mitchell: (to media) "Thanks, very much."