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 Thanks, Pamalam

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 campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Temporary Injunction - Press Conference*

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
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The McCanns' press conference, 19 February 2010

The McCanns hold a press conference in London following the decision to uphold the provisional ban on Gonçalo Amaral's book 'The Truth of the Lie'

Madeleine's Parents Set To Speak On Book Ban, 19 February 2010
Madeleine's Parents Set To Speak On Book Ban Sky News

James Jordan, Sky News Online
9:28am UK, Friday February 19, 2010


Kate and Gerry McCann will speak publicly for the first time later about a Portuguese court's decision to uphold a ban on a book claiming their daughter Madeleine is dead.

The McCanns condemned the book's claims
The McCanns condemned the book's claims

A judge in Lisbon rejected an attempt by former senior detective Goncalo Amaral to overturn an injunction halting the sale and publication of his book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

The McCanns welcomed the ruling and said they hoped it would bring a fresh impetus to the search for Madeleine, who has been missing for nearly three years.

Outside court, the ex-policeman said he would appeal against the judgment and repeated his intention to fight the case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr and Mrs McCann will speak about the ruling at a news conference in central London this morning.

Mr Amaral was the first head of the police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

The McCanns keep up their appeal for information on Madeleine
The McCanns keep up their appeal for information on Madeleine

In July 2008 he published his book, which alleges that Madeleine died in her family's holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction - something they strongly deny.

A judge granted the McCanns a temporary injunction last September stopping Mr Amaral from selling his book and a TV documentary he made about the case.

The ex-policeman launched an appeal against the ban last month, calling a series of witnesses to support his claims.

But Judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues rejected his challenge in a ruling delivered at Lisbon's main civil court on Thursday.

The McCanns condemned the claims of Mr Amaral and others who "disgracefully and falsely" tried to implicate them in their daughter's disappearance.

They vowed to continue their own search for Madeleine using private detectives, but appealed for help from both the public and official investigators.

:: Watch the McCanns' news conference at 11.30am on Sky News and
skynews.com.

McCanns: 'Please Don't Give Up On Madeleine', 19 February 2010
McCanns: 'Please Don't Give Up On Madeleine' Sky News

BREAKING NEWS 12:18pm UK, Friday February 19, 2010

Alison Chung, Sky News Online

Kate and Gerry McCann have welcomed a decision to uphold a ban on a book about their daughter and pleaded with police to continue searching for Madeleine.

Speaking at a news conference in London, the couple said they were "pleased and relieved" at the Portuguese court ruling.

"The judge agreed that there had been significant ongoing damage to the search for Madeleine and to our family, and we are grateful for that," Kate said.

"The court has demonstrated once again that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm.

"It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for her despite being with presented with new information and leads."

A judge in Lisbon yesterday rejected an attempt by former senior detective Goncalo Amaral to overturn an injunction halting the sale and publication of his book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

The book, published in July 2008, alleges that Madeleine died in her family's holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction - something they have persistently denied.

The couple today slammed the "slanderous" motives of Mr Amaral for "trying to convince the world that Madeleine is dead".

They said they hoped the decision would bring a fresh impetus to the search for their daughter, who has been missing for nearly three years.

Kate said: "Our primary focus has always been to find Madeleine by trying to achieve the most effective search possible."

She also implored police in Portugal and the public to "remain vigilant", saying: "Please do not give up on Madeleine".

Mr Amaral said he would appeal against the judgement and repeated his intention to fight the case all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.

The ex-policeman was the first head of the police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

-------------------------

Transcript of Kate's statement

By Nigel Moore

Kate McCann: We are pleased and relieved at the judges decision yesterday.

By upholding the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD the judge has agreed that there has been significant ongoing damage to the search for Madeleine and to the rights of our family.

We are grateful to the judge for accepting that this injustice, to Madeleine in particular, must not continue.

The court has demonstrated once again that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm.

It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for Madeleine, even when presented with new information and leads.

The motives of Mr Amaral, and others who have tried to convince the world that Madeleine is dead, and who have also tried to implicainte... implicate us in her disappearance, need to be seriously questioned and looked at.

As painful and personally damaging as the slanderous claims of Mr Amaral and his supporters have been, to us and our family, our primary focus has always been, and always will be, to find Madeleine by trying to achieve as effective a search as it is possible.

It is still incumbent upon the British and Portuguese authorities to ensure that every credible lead has been investigated and that a meaning... meaningful search for an innocent and vulnerable little girl, our dearly loved Madeleine, is properly carried out.

[Final section of Kate's statement, cut by Sky News:

We must and will keep looking for Madeleine as well as those responsible for her abduction.

We implore the public, and especially the Portuguese people, to help us look for Madeleine, to remain vigilant and to pass on to us any information they may have which could help us find our daughter.

Please do not give up on Madeleine.

If you have any information that could help us, please call 800 814 028, from Portugal, or 0845 838 4699, from outside Portugal.

Thank you.]

(...)

Gerry McCann: I think the obvious thing is that it's a very serious case and there's lots of information that's been held currently by different law enforcement agencies; the information isn't even on a single database capable of being searched. We don't think there's been a systematic review of all the information and the leads and that's something that would be automatically done in the United Kingdom and I think for a Bri... a missing British citizen, that's what we're looking for and we want the authorities to work together. It is an international case, always has been, errm... and we feel that it's fundamental, to trying to find Madeleine, for a systematic review to take place.

New Madeleine McCann leads filed away, says father, 19 February 2010
New Madeleine McCann leads filed away, says father BBC News

The McCanns have called for a full review of the investigation

Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

New leads in the search for missing Madeleine McCann are being effectively ignored, her father Gerry has said.

He said "next to nothing" had been done in Portugal with new lines of inquiry; information had been simply filed away.

Mr and Mrs McCann, from Leicestershire, spoke to reporters after a Portuguese former detective failed to overturn a ban on his book about their daughter.

They said Goncalo Amaral's book, which suggested Madeleine was dead, defamed them and hindered their ongoing search.

'Heartbreaking'

Mr McCann, from Rothley, said it was "unacceptable" that new information sent to Portuguese police was not being properly followed up.

The McCanns hired private detectives after the case was officially closed, but say they have not been given access to new information.

Speaking in London, Mr McCann said: "We'd like to see ongoing police co-operation. We do believe more can be done."

Goncalo Amaral has vowed to continue his fight in the European court

He added: "You wouldn't have thought the parents of a missing child should have to be begging [for this to happen]."

The couple also renewed a call for the Portuguese police to carry out a "systematic review" of the case.

Mrs McCann described it as "heartbreaking" that important leads generated by private investigators were not being given proper attention.

On Thursday, Lisbon's main civil court upheld an injunction banning Mr Amaral's book Maddie: The Truth of The Lie.

The McCanns' lawyer, Isabel Duarte, said the judge had confirmed the original decision, which meant the book could not be reproduced or sold and Mr Amaral could not give interviews or statements about his theory in the book.

Mr Amaral had been removed as head of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance after criticising the involvement of British police.

His book, which went on sale in July 2008, also questioned the couple's accounts of their daughter's disappearance.

In September 2009, a Portuguese injunction temporarily banned sales and further publication of the book, as well as a DVD version of it.

Mr Amaral launched a bid to overturn the ban last month, calling a series of witnesses to support his claims, but Judge Maria Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues rejected his challenge.

After the hearing, Mr Amaral said: "It is another step and I always said we were prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights. Now we have another phase of appeal and we will carry on."

The McCanns are also seeking 1.2m euros (£1.04m) in compensation for defamation in separate civil proceedings against Mr Amaral in Portugal.

Madeleine went missing from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in May 2007, aged three.

Madeleine McCann parents launch new attack on hunt police, 19 February 2010
Madeleine McCann parents launch new attack on hunt police Daily Mirror

By Mirror.co.uk
19/02/2010


Kate and Gerry McCann today criticised the "heartbreaking" failure by police to investigate new leads in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance as they called for a full case review.

The couple said they should not be forced to "beg" for co-operation between the British and Portuguese authorities.

Speaking the day after a court upheld a ban on a book in which a former detective claims Madeleine is dead, the McCanns appealed for resh help from officials to find their daughter.

Mr McCann said: "You would hope that the parents of a missing child shouldn't have to be here begging for such assistance and that the authorities would actually do everything in their power in the first place.

The couple, both 41 and from Rothley, Leicestershire, have employed a series of private detectives to search for their daughter since she went missing from Praia da Luz in southern Portugal in May 2007.

They said there were cases where their investigators had passed leads on to the Portuguese authorities and Leicestershire Police, their local force, only for them to be ignored.

Mr McCann told a press conference in London: "There are certainly instances where information which we think is very credible and worthy of further investigation has not been actioned.

"We're gutted, it's absolutely shocking and difficult.

"We're trying our absolute best, Madeleine's still missing, and as we say the perpetrator's still there.

"We're not saying they are the leads that will result in finding her. But if you don't investigate information when it comes in, you will never solve it."

His wife added: "It's heartbreaking, to be honest."

Asked about how Leicestershire Police and other authorities responded to requests for a full independent review of the case, Mr McCann said the couple had encountered "reluctance".

He said: "It's a very serious case and there's lots of information that's being held currently by different law enforcement agencies.

"The information isn't even on a single database that people can search.

"We don't think there's been a systematic review of all the information and the leads, and that's something that would be automatically done in the United Kingdom.

"I think for a missing British citizen, that's what we're looking for.

"We want the authorities to work together. It is an international case, and always has been. We feel that it is fundamental to try to find Madeleine for a systematic review to take place."

He added: "I think people are reluctant to undertake a review because there's been difficult, sensitive issues.

"But Madeleine's rights should be put first. She's missing,she's innocent, and whoever's taken her is still out there, and that has to be of paramount importance."

Mr McCann said the authorities had done hardly anything to look for Madeleine since the Portuguese investigation was shelved in July2008.

"If you look at since the file has been closed what's actually been done, and that's next to nothing - and that's for probably the highest-profile missing child case in Europe ever," he said.

Mr McCann revealed that the couple had contacted the Home Office to ask for help in improving working between British and Portuguese authorities.

He also suggested that any decision to carry out a review of the case would have to be taken at a very high level.

Mr McCann said it was beyond the scope of Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior, who led the British end of the Madeleine investigation for Leicestershire Police.

"I don't think Stuart has the power to make the decision. It has to come from higher up than that," he said.

"My feeling is they think it's quite difficult."

His wife added: "It is difficult but personally I don't think that's a reason not to do it."

The couple also welcomed yesterday's court ruling in Lisbon maintaining a ban on former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral's book,Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

The book alleges that the little girl died in her family's holiday flat and that her parents faked her abduction - something they strongly deny.

The McCanns said their main motive for challenging Mr Amaral was the fear that people would stop looking for Madeleine if they thought she was dead.

The couple are also seeking 1.2 million euros (s1.08 million)in compensation for defamation in separate civil proceedings against the former policeman in Portugal.

Live tweets from Rui Pinto de Almeida at Gonçalo Amaral's press conference in Lisbon, 19 February 2010

Rui Pinto de Almeida, TV Producer and Director, Lisbon: Twitter

Live tweets from rupial - Amaral press conference, 19 February 2010

'We're just keeping our heads above the water': Desperate and angry, Kate McCann begs British police to take over Maddie hunt, 20 February 2010
'We're just keeping our heads above the water': Desperate and angry, Kate McCann begs British police to take over Maddie hunt Daily Mail

By Vanessa Allen
Last updated at 12:03 AM on 20th February 2010


A tearful Kate McCann yesterday begged the Government to help find her missing daughter as her husband said they were 'just managing to keep our heads above water'.

The desperate mother of three and her husband Gerry had a face-to-face meeting with Home Secretary Alan Johnson to plead for Interpol to review the botched Portuguese investigation.

The couple, both 41, fear that their own £2million investigation has hit a brick wall because British and Portuguese police have ignored the potential leads their private detectives have uncovered.

Their frustration was evident as they spoke about their anger that no police force is searching for their daughter Madeleine.

Although hundreds of witness statements and photographs of potential sightings of the missing girl have been handed to officers in Portugal, they have been filed as 'irrelevant' and left to gather dust.

Mr McCann said: 'You would hope that the parents of a missing girl wouldn't have to be here begging for assistance, and that the authorities would do everything in their power in the first place.

'There are instances where information which we think is very credible and worthy of investigation has not been actioned.

'We're gutted, it's absolutely shocking and difficult.We are just managing to keep our heads above water.' Mrs McCann said: 'Some of the information that has been handed in was very credible. It's heartbreaking to know that it seems to end there.'

Plea: Kate and Gerry McCann held a press conference yesterday and called for a full case review into their daughter's disappearance

Plea: Kate and Gerry McCann held a press conference yesterday and called for a full case review into their daughter's disappearance

-------------------------

Sources said the pair had received 'commitments' from Mr Johnson at a meeting in December that he would pursue the issue with his counterparts in Lisbon. The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have also held a series of meetings with Home Office and Foreign Office officials.

The McCanns acknowledged that there were political issues which could obstruct a Portuguese-English review, and that failures in the high-profile case have caused international embarrassment for the Portuguese government.

But Mrs McCann, a former GP, lashed out angrily at suggestions that political or individual failure could halt the search.

'It is difficult but I don't think that's a reason not to do it,' she said, appearing to fight back tears.

'I don't think that's adequate, to say there are problems and we're not going to do it.

'There's a little girl still missing, and you can't just write her off and say "Well we've tried and that's just too bad". It's not good enough.'

The McCanns this week won a legal case against the former head of the Portuguese police investigation, Goncalo Amaral, who had claimed they faked Madeleine's abduction to cover up her death.

Madeleine disappeared from her parents' rented holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

Emotional: Kate McCann said police efforts to find Maddie were 'not good enough'

Emotional: Kate McCann said police efforts to find Maddie were 'not good enough'

---------------------

Despite a global search for the missing girl, there have been no confirmed sightings of her since she vanished.

Mrs McCann said: 'We have worked incredibly hard, day in day out for the last two years. It is just so hard when somebody's doing their utmost to stop your efforts and stop the search. To me it's inhumane. Hopefully our search will now have more effect.'

Her husband, a hospital heart consultant, said it was 'unacceptable' that Portuguese police were refusing to investigate new information, and that British police were powerless to take over the investigation.

Speaking at a press conference in London, he said: 'I think people are reluctant to undertake a review because there's been difficult, sensitive issues.

'But Madeleine's rights should be put first. She's missing, she's innocent, and whoever's taken her is still out there, and that has to be of paramount importance.'

Portuguese authorities shelved the case in July 2008 after failing to find any evidence of what happened to Madeleine.

A source close to the couple said: 'The reality is there will only be a new investigation if Portugal asks for one, and Portugal is just too proud to admit that it is needed.'

A spokesman for the McCanns' local police force, Leicestershire, said: 'We, nor any other UK law enforcement agency, has jurisdiction in Portugal.

'This does not alter just because the person involved is a British citizen.

'Therefore any deployment of officers to Portugal would have to be requested and sanctioned by the Portuguese authorities.'

They do best to block hunt for Maddie... it's inhumane, 20 February 2010
They do best to block hunt for Maddie... it's inhumane The Sun

By ANTONELLA LAZZERI
Published: 20 Feb 2010

TEARFUL Kate McCann branded Portuguese police "inhumane" yesterday for continuing to block the search for her missing daughter Madeleine.

Her voice cracked with emotion as she poured out her anger and frustration alongside husband Gerry.

You need Flash Player 8 or higher to view video content with the ROO Flash Player. Click here to download and install it.

Kate, 41, said: "We've worked incredibly hard, day in day out, over the last two years. It's just hard when somebody is doing their utmost to stop your efforts, to stop the search. To me it's inhumane."

Plea for help ... Kate and Gerry

And she said of the Portuguese attitude to finding Maddie - who would now be six: "There is a little girl still missing. You can't just write her off and say, 'Well, we've tried and that's just too bad'. That's not good enough."

Gerry, also 41, said he and Kate were horrified to find that hundreds of new leads and reported sightings of Maddie had been passed to Portuguese police but were never followed up.

He said angrily: "We're gutted. It's absolutely shocking. If you don't investigate information, you won't solve it."

Heartbreaking

The couple, of Rothley, Leics, were speaking in London following ex-police chief Goncalo Amaral's failure to lift a ban on his book Maddie: The Truth of the Lie. In it, he claims Maddie is dead and her parents faked her abduction.

During the court case in Lisbon, it was revealed police put hundreds of pieces of new information about Maddie, who vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, into a file stamped "Not relevant".

Kate said: "The information handed in was very credible. It's heartbreaking."

She claimed that the way information was dealt with depended on who it was passed to. And she added: "Amaral has his supporters still in the force."

Baffled Portuguese police closed the case in July 2008.

Gerry, a cardiac specialist, went on: "We know there is a lot of information just filed away - and that is not acceptable. Once the file has been closed, what has actually been done? Next to nothing.

"This is probably the highest profile missing child case in Europe, so goodness knows what happens in other cases.

"There is not even a single database of information which could be reviewed.

"You would hope the parents of a missing child wouldn't have to be here begging for assistance."

The couple called yesterday for a complete review of the case by a joint team of British and Portuguese police.

Gerry said: "It is an international case and it always has been. We have to put Madeleine first, there has to be dialogue, we have to get them working together."

A source close to the couple revealed they have had several meetings with Home Secretary Alan Johnson and other officials to discuss a case review.

Gerry said: "A large portion of Portuguese police believe Madeleine is dead."

But he appealed for fresh information, saying: "People around Praia da Luz are the most likely to have noticed something suspicious."

------------------------

Transcript of video

By Nigel Moore

Martin Brunt (voice over): Madeleine McCann's disappearance is the most high profile missing child case in Europe so why, asked her parents, aren't British and Portuguese police doing more to follow new leads.

Gerry McCann: The parents of a missing child shouldn't have to be here begging for such assistance and that the authorities would actually do everything in their power in the first place.

MB (voice over): The Portuguese police investigation was abandoned last year and the files were published. But the McCanns insist new potential evidence since then has been largely ignored.

GM: There's lots of information that's been held currently by different law enforcement agencies; the information isn't even on a single database capable of being searched. We don't think there's been a systematic review of all the information and the leads and that's something that would be automatically done in the United Kingdom and I think for a Bri... a missing British citizen, that's what we're looking for...

MB (voice over): It's Leicestershire police, the family's local force, which investigates information supplied in the UK. It said anymore help had to be requested by the Portuguese authorities.

MB (to camera): The Home Office said it was doing all it could to encourage cooperation between British and Portuguese police and it had given the McCanns access to senior ministers; it really couldn't do anymore.

MB (voice over): This week the McCanns won a court battle with former Portuguese police chief Gonçalo Amaral. The couple got a continued ban on his book; it claimed Madeleine had died accidently and accused them of concealing her body.

Kate McCann: You know, we've worked incredibly hard over the last few years, day in, day out, and, you know, it's... it's just so hard when somebody is doing their utmost to stop your efforts; to stop the search, I mean, I just... to me, it's inhumane.

MB (voice over): The McCanns urged people everywhere but particularly in Portugal to keep looking for their daughter. Martin Brunt, Sky News, at the Home Office.

The Sun, paper edition: 'They do best to block hunt for Maddie... it's inhumane', 20 February 2010

The Sun, 20 February 2010: 'They do best to block hunt for Maddie... it's inhumane'

The Sun says: Maddie agony, 20 February 2010
Maddie agony The Sun (appears in paper edition)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

IT is impossible to imagine the agony suffered by the McCanns since their daughter Madeleine was snatched from a Portuguese holiday flat.

That was almost three years ago. And since then they have suffered from false accusations that they were involved from a Portuguese policeman, whose force's performance has been pathetic from the start.

Yesterday Maddie's parents said the failure of the cops to investigate new leads was "heartbreaking".

It is more than that. It is an outrage.

McCanns hit out at 'red tape' jungle, 20 February 2010
McCanns hit out at 'red tape' jungle Daily Mirror

By Steve Myall
20/02/2010


SEARCH

Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday accused the British Government of hampering the search for their missing daughter.

They claim Portuguese cops have leads to Madeleine's disappearance but they have been unable to access them.

The couple say despite meetings with Gordon Brown and top UK officials, the three-year investigation has stalled.

And they claim red tape is blocking their own inquiries using private detectives.

After their successful attempt to maintain a legal ban on publication of a book which claims Madeleine is dead, Gerry, 41, called for a complete review of the case.

He said: "There are certainly instances where information we think is very credible and worthy of further investigation has not been actioned."

---------------------------------

Later rewritten headline:

Kate and Gerry McCann accuse British Government of hampering search for Madeleine 
Daily Mirror

By Steve Myall
20/02/2010

McCanns at press conference, 19 February 2010

Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday accused the British Government of hampering the search for their missing daughter.

They claim Portuguese cops have leads to Madeleine's disappearance but they have been unable to access them.

The couple say despite meetings with Gordon Brown and top UK officials, the three-year investigation has stalled.

And they claim red tape is blocking their own inquiries using private detectives.

After their successful attempt to maintain a legal ban on publication of a book which claims Madeleine is dead, Gerry, 41, called for a complete review of the case.

He said: "There are certainly instances where information we think is very credible and worthy of further investigation has not been actioned."

Amaral already prepares his counter-attack, 20 February 2010
Amaral already prepares his counter-attack 24horas

During a presentation of his second book, the former inspector revealed how he will respond to the ban on "The Truth of the Lie"

Gonçalo Amaral

By Joaquim Eduardo Oliveira
20 February 2010
Thanks to Astro for translation


Former Polícia Judiciária (PJ) inspector Gonçalo Amaral told 24horas yesterday that he is already working on the appeal over the judicial decision that this Thursday maintained the ban on his book "Maddie, The Truth of the Lie", and revealed some of the "trumps" that he will use in the protest against the arguments that were used by the judge of the 7th Civil Court Section, Gabriela Cunha Rodrigues.

In the late afternoon, minutes before another session to present his other book, "The English Gag", in Lisbon – a book that is already in its third edition - Amaral spoke about the arguments that he will use to fight those that led the magistrate to grant the request of Madeleine McCann's parents.

"Contrary to what is being announced, the sentence is not as favourable [for the McCanns] as people think". Amaral even says that by rewriting some of the terms of the first injunction, she has allowed him to "speak about the case, and seriously".

"By taking the expression 'to infer' out of the decision, we are allowed to analyse, for example, the English detectives' work, the McCann couple's strategies, and other theses that are neither in the book nor in the documentary", he alleged.

There is no police officer who doesn't talk

Gonçalo Amaral also challenges the argument according to which, due to him having been a State agent, he could not express other opinions – allegedly contrary to what had been written in the inquiry's archiving dispatch.

"There are many State agents, there are State medics who wrote books... that is not the way to limit freedom of expression. There is no police officer, in Portugal or anywhere in the world, who is limited in the full exercise of that freedom," he said.

Amaral will also allege, in his appeal, the need for a "serious discussion" over the possible use, in Portuguese law, of "the figure of recurso de amparo", which is practiced in other countries, which allows – for example in the case of injunctions – to appeal directly to the Constitutional Court. Otherwise, he says, "we fear that the path is leading us into previous or a posteriori censorship."

McCanns beg for police help in search for Madeleine, 20 February 2010
McCanns beg for police help in search for Madeleine Leicester Mercury

Saturday, February 20, 2010, 09:30

Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday criticised the "heartbreaking" failure by Portuguese police to investigate new leads in their daughter Madeleine's disappearance as they called for a full case review.

They feel let down by international protocols which mean that Leicestershire police have to pass any leads to their Portuguese counterparts – who have since closed the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

Speaking the day after a court upheld a ban on a book in which a former detective claims their daughter is dead, the McCanns appealed for fresh help from officials to find her.

Mr McCann said: "You would hope that the parents of a missing child shouldn't have to be here begging for such assistance and that the authorities would actually do everything in their power in the first place."

The couple, both 41 and from Rothley, have employed private detectives to search for Madeleine, who went missing during a family holiday in the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Mr McCann told a press conference in London: "There are certainly instances where information which we think is very credible and worthy of further investigation has not been actioned. We're gutted, it's absolutely shocking and difficult.

"We're trying our absolute best, Madeleine's still missing, and the perpetrator is still out there. We're not saying they're the leads that will result in finding her, but if you don't investigate information when it comes in, you'll never solve it."

His wife added: "It's heartbreaking, to be honest."

Speaking after the press conference, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "A lot of evidence was in the files that were released in 2008, but everything since then has gone to Portugal – even if it's information received by Leicestershire police, they have to pass it on.

"The protocols mean that the British end cannot do anything unless the Portuguese authorities ask them to.

"But the Portuguese have shelved the case, so new information isn't being followed up. It just gathers dust, which is ridiculous.

"Some tip-offs can be dismissed, but Kate and Gerry just don't know what information is there because it disappears into a black hole," Mr Mitchell said.

At the press conference, Mr McCann said there should be a systematic review of all information and leads.

He said: "We want the authorities to work together. It is an international case, and always has been. I think people are reluctant to undertake a review because there's been difficult, sensitive issues.

"But Madeleine's rights should be put first. She's missing, she's innocent and whoever's taken her is still out there, and that has to be of paramount importance."

Mr McCann revealed that the couple had contacted the Home Office to ask for help in improving co-operation between Portuguese and UK authorities.

He also suggested that any decision to carry out a review of the case would have to be taken at a very high level.

Mr McCann said it was beyond the scope of Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior, who led the British end of the Madeleine investigation for Leicestershire police.

"I don't think Stuart has the power to make the decision. It has to come from higher up than that," he said.

The couple also welcomed the court ruling in Lisbon maintaining a ban on former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral's book, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

A Leicestershire police spokeswoman said: "The investigation is a Portuguese-led one.

"Our role from day one has been, and continues to be, to co-ordinate and complete any UK inquiries and to action those tasks that have been requested by the Portuguese authorities to be completed in the UK."

Right to ban Madeleine McCann lies, 21 February 2010
Right to ban Madeleine McCann lies News of the World (Scottish edition)

PORTUGUESE JUDGE GETS IT SPOT ON WITH BOOK BAN

Anna Smith
21/02/2010

GOOD on the Portuguese judge who refused to lift the injunction banning the vile book on missing Madeleine McCann, written by ex-cop Goncalo Amaral.

Yes, we must defend freedom of speech.

But Amaral's book, which claims Maddie is dead and the McCanns faked her abduction, wasn't about freedom of speech. It was about making money out of the misery of a devastated couple.

It was based on no facts, forensic or otherwise. And more than anything, it was damaging to the search for Maddie, who we all hope may still be out there.

McCanns beg Cameron to help them find Madeleine, 21 February 2010
McCanns beg Cameron to help them find Madeleine Sunday Express

Kate and Gerry McCann have asked David Cameron to help find their daughter Madeleine

By James Murray
Sunday February 21,2010

KATE and Gerry McCann have asked David Cameron to help find their daughter Madeleine after a private emotional meeting with the Tory leader.

They spent half an hour at his Westminster office explaining their frustration and disappointment with the investigations.

If Mr Cameron wins the election – expected on May 6 – the McCanns hope he would give the case a new priority and order a review of all the evidence.

Mr Cameron, 43, the father of two young children himself, expressed a desire to the couple to do anything in his power to discover what happened to Madeleine, who disappeared from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz on the Algarve on May 3, 2007.

Andy Coulson, the Tory director of communications, and Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman who hopes to stand as a Conservative in the forthcoming election, were also present.

Last week it was disclosed that Kate and Gerry, 41-year-old doctors from Rothley, Leics, have had a private meeting with Home Secretary Alan Johnson to request a review of the evidence.

He has been notably silent on the case, seemingly preferring to sit on the fence rather than use his influence to demand a breakthrough and there are no indications he will order a review.

The McCanns' lawyer has been given a Portugese police file of new sightings which have not been properly investigated. She is particularly interested in information that Madeleine may have been in Spain and Italy.

Last week a judge in Portugal ruled that a book by a former police chief should continue to be banned because his unproven claim that Madeleine died in the flat is damaging the search.

On Friday Kate McCann was close to tears as she spoke of the "heartbreaking" failure by police to probe new leads.

"There's a little girl still missing and you can't just write her off and say 'Well, we've tried and that's just too bad'," she said. "It's not good enough."

Mr McCann said: "Information which we think is very credible and worthy of further investigation has not been actioned. We're gutted, it's absolutely shocking."

Maddie probe bust-up, 21 February 2010
Maddie probe bust-up Daily Star Sunday (appears in paper edition)

Daily Star Sunday, 21 February 2010

February 21, 2010

A DIPLOMATIC war is looming between Britain and Portugal over the probe into Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

Portuguese police are fuming after a Home Office official said UK officers were taking "all possible steps" to further the inquiry, the Daily Star Sunday can reveal.

The assurance came in a letter to a member of the public, though police here have always said they only co-ordinate and complete inquiries for Portuguese investigators - who have shelved the case.

Strained

One Portuguese officer told us: "There has been a suspicion for a long while that British police are going behind our backs. We need explanations."

A government source said: "There have been many sensitive issues surrounding the case. Relations have, at times, been strained between the two countries and this will not help."

British inquiries have been handled by police in Leicestershire, the home of Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

A force spokesman said: "Any deployment of officers to Portugal to work on the inquiry from the UK would have to be requested and sanctioned by the Portuguese authorities."

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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