The Portuguese police inquiry into the disappearance of
was condemned in the strongest terms by the
country's public prosecutors, new
Detectives were criticised for establishing "no element of proof "
about what happened to Madeleine or even whether she was alive or
Public prosecutors in Portimao overseeing the case said that none of
the reasons her parents
Gerry and Kate McCann
were made official suspects, or "arguidos", were
ever "confirmed or consolidated".
Detectives were even compared unfavourably with fictional sleuths
Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot as they were lambasted for
achieving "very little in terms of conclusive results".
Police tactics were revealed in a 20,000-page "Madeleine
File", detailing all aspects of the 14-month
investigation made public yesterday.
Madeleine, three, vanished from her family's
Praia da Luz
on 3 May last year. The police file included
pictures of the room and Madeleine's bed. Her parents are now likely
to take legal action against police in the country.
The case was initially led by top investigator
Goncalo Amaral, who last month published a book on the
investigation entitled Maddie
Truth about the Lie.
The huge police dossier contained a report by public prosecutors
Joao Melchior Gomes and Jose de Magalhaes e Menezes about why the
couple were not charged with any offence.
The report refers to the "objective circumstances" which justify the
" non-involvement of the parents of Madeleine in any relevant
It said they were not in the apartment when Madeleine disappeared
and noted their "normal behaviour adopted before the disappearance
It said that "in reality, none of the indications which led to them
being made arguidos came to be confirmed or consolidated later".
"No element of proof whatsoever was found which allows us to form
any lucid, sensible, serious and honest conclusion about the
circumstances" of Madeleine's disappearance from the apartment ...
including, and most dramatically, establishing whether she is alive
or dead, which seems more probable."
It continued: "The investigators are well aware that their work is
not exempt from imperfections.
"They worked with an enormous margin of error and they achieved very
little in terms of conclusive results, especially with regards to
the fate of the unfortunate child. This is not, unfortunately, a
police story, a crime fit for the investigative mind of a Sherlock
Holmes or a Hercule Poirot, guided by the illusion that the forces
of law and justice always restore order."
The report also revealed why the McCanns were not charged with "
abandonment" of their children on the night Madeleine vanished. It
said the couple did not knowingly leave their children in any danger
and had been "keeping an eye on them".
It continued: "While it is a fact that Madeleine disappeared from
apartment, the circumstances and manner of how this
happened is not known.It is obvious that neither of the defendants,
Gerald or Kate, acted with intent ... they could not predict that
the resort they had chosen to spend a few days' holiday would leave
the lives of any of their children in danger.
"It was located in a quiet place, where the majority of residents
are foreign citizens of the same nationality and without any known
history of this type of crime.
"Although they left their daughter alone with her
in the apartment, sometimes for extended periods, it's
true that, in any case, they were keeping an eye on them. We must
also recognise that the parents are already paying a heavy penalty -
the disappearance of Madeleine - for their carelessness in
monitoring and protecting their children."
The prosecutors also rejected the theory that the couple had been
involved in disposing of their daughter's body saying: "It would be
always left to explain how, where, when, with what means, with whose
help, in a restricted space and time."
A source close to the McCanns' legal team said action against the
Portuguese police was now increasingly likely. He said: "Given this
blatant misrepresentation of evidence, legal action against the
Portuguese police is very much on the agenda.
"The lawyers are considering very seriously whether action needs to
be taken against individual officers when evidence was clearly
misrepresented in such obvious ways at such crucial times."
The couple's official spokesman
said the priority was still the search for
Madeleine but admitted legal action against the police was an