investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance has been
hijacked by her parents' "gigantic propaganda machine",
Portuguese detectives have claimed.
officers have condemned the recruitment of Metodo 3, the
Spanish private detective agency hired by the couple to find
And they have
claimed that the 39-year-old doctors from Rothley,
Leicestershire are using a string of "new witnesses"
reported recently as "diversion tactics" aimed at
distracting the police away from the couple.
A source close to the official police investigation told the
Daily Express: "Who do the McCanns think they are? "The
discovery of new witnesses in the last few weeks lead the
authorities to believe they are at war with a gigantic
have some very powerful people on their side - millionaires,
celebrities, even politicians."
salesman Paul Gordon, 34, from Hampshire told how he
confronted an intruder trying to break into the same holiday
apartment from where Madeleine disappeared just days before
the British youngster vanished.
Irishman Martin Smith, from Drogheda, County Louth, told how he saw a man carrying a
child towards the beach shortly before 10pm on the night of May 3, about the time that Madeleine
sisters Annie Wiltshire, 58, and Jayne Jensen, 54, both from
Kent, told police they saw suspect Robert Murat outside the
Ocean Club complex half an hour after Madeleine was reported
missing from her family's holiday flat on the night of May
November Metodo 3 revealed how a lorry driver told them he
saw a woman handing a young child over to a man near the
town of Silves, 25 miles from Praia da Luz, two days
after Madeleine disappeared.
the McCanns has peaked in recent days following revelations
that they are in talks with film-makers to make a film about
their daughter's disappearance, already dubbed 'Madeleine
Portugal have also been shocked by the
celebrity-style interview the couple granted to American
glossy magazine Vanity Fair.
Home improvements millionaire Brian Kennedy has provided
tens of thousands of pounds to bankroll the Find Madeleine
David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo and even Prime Minister
Gordon Brown have spoken out in support of the McCanns.
source said: "Their tactics are really beginning to annoy
decisive date approaches the company (Metodo 3) takes a new
rabbit out of the hat." The police also distrust the surge
in new witnesses who claim they have seen the only other
suspect in the case, British expat Robert Murat, close to
the Ocean Club Resort, Praia da Luz, on the night of 3 May
last year when Madeleine vanished.
The source added: "Just last week an Irish couple insisted
they saw a man leaving, carrying a child, at the same time
in which the parents spoke of abduction.
"They never said it before, although the case is reached
such a high a profile, never before seen in whole of
Murat claim he has been made a scapegoat by the McCann's PR
His lawyer Francisco Pagarete said: "Robert Murat does not
have millionaires supporting him, nor campaign funds. "He
just wants to see his name cleared in this case as he has
nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance, despite every
day people emerging trying to forcibly incriminate him."
outburst follows previous attacks on the McCann by the
police claiming the couple were wrecking the official
investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.
the chairman of the Portuguese Union of Police Detectives,
Carlos Anjos described the £1 million Find Madeleine
campaign as a "monster" which was out of control and had to
He said: "The
McCanns created a monster of information about the Maddie
case which they then lost control of."
He claimed the couple were 'partly to blame' for the media
storm which has surrounded the police investigation and said
they had not helped to solve the case.
At the same
time police sources gave a brutal insight into the change in
Portuguese public opinion about the McCanns.
said: "The parents and their publicity campaign have turned
her into a symbol of something ugly and wrong. People are
sick of having it rammed down their throats."
"They've over-done it. "People used to look at her picture
and well up with tears "Now they see her picture and it gets
no reaction. It's time to stop."
claimed in November that reported sightings of Madeleine
sightings all over the world, including in
Belgium and Malta, were part of
a deliberate campaign to bring down their investigation and
part of a deliberate campaign of misinformation.
A source told
the Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas: "None of the reports
indicating sightings of the McCanns' daughter have been
confirmed. "Somebody is trying to draw attention away from
what really happened that night.
those who want to bring down an investigation that has been
carried out honestly and rigourously.
Judiciaria doesn't want to see any innocent person arrested.
They only seek the truth."
ridiculed the Spanish private detective agency Metodo 3,
branding them "small fry", after claims that their agents
were "very close" to solving the case.
Last night the
McCann's official spokesman Clarence Mitchell denied the
couple were running a propaganda campaign.
"That's utter rubbish. We are not running a propaganda
involved is simply following leads as information comes in.
"They are all
genuine people who are well meaning in their intentions, on
top of that I wish I was that powerful, that I could mount a
propaganda campaign, I am just doing my job."
also dismissed rumours that Metodo 3 were on the verge of
being sacked but confirmed that their contract will be
reviewed in February.
He said: "We
were unhappy with some of the public comments made and that
was made very clear to Metodo 3 and since then Francisco has
made no further comments.
"But in terms
of what they are contributing to finding Madeleine we are
happy. We are also happy with their invoicing for work
Metodo 3 were
signed up for a six month contract worth £300,000 in
The firm has recently sub-contracted some of the work to
private investigation firm Hogan International to conduct