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MADELEINE LAWYERS LOOK FOR NEW CLUES IN PORTUGAL

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX NEWS AUGUST 2008
Original Source: EXPRESS: FRIDAY 01 AUGUST 2008
Friday August 1,2008 By Martin Evans
UK NEWS
KATE and Gerry McCann's lawyers last night began trawling through a mountain of official files for fresh clues to their daughter's disappearance.
 

Almost 15 months after the three-year-old went missing from the family's holiday apartment in Portugal, the couple were finally allowed to see details of the bungled police investigation.


The McCann's were granted access to the files after the Portuguese attorney general officially cleared the couple of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance.

Clarence Mitchell, the McCann's? official spokesman, said their legal team had begun studying the 20,000-page files in the hope of identifying fresh leads which had been ignored or missed by detectives.


He said: ?This is an important step forward in the search for Madeleine.

 

 

Rogerio Alves, the McCann's? top lawyer in Portugal, will supervise a team of investigators as they painstakingly re-examine every aspect of the police investigation.

The files contain details of interviews with hundreds of potential witnesses who were in and around the resort of Praia da Luz last May when Madeleine disappeared.


The files are also understood to contain scores of reported sightings of the little girl from around the world, many of which were simply discounted by the police.


Any new information which comes to light will be passed to the Spanish-based Metodo 3 detective agency, who were hired by the McCann's to conduct a private investigation.

 

Mr Mitchell said: ?Kate and Gerry have long wanted to know what was in the police files and what was and wasn't done in terms of the search.


?They will be taking their time, along with lawyers, to assess the thousands of pages of information in detail before they make any comment.


?They and I will not be giving a running commentary. Any critical information will go to their investigators.?


As well as potential leads, the McCann's lawyers will be assessing whether the files would support legal action against the Portuguese police for the way they conducted the inquiry.


Three months into the inquiry, Kate and Gerry were declared arguidos'  formal suspects ? by the Portuguese police, leading to months of heartache for the couple.


They were finally cleared earlier this month, along with Robert Murat, the only other formal suspect.


But they are angry that, with the focus on them, detectives wasted valuable time and failed to look for Madeleine properly.


After hearing they had finally been officially cleared, Kate said: ?It is hard to describe how utterly despairing it was to be named as arguido and subsequently portrayed as suspects in our own daughter's disappearance.


?It has been equally devastating to witness the detrimental affect this  has had on the search for Madeleine.?


Once the legal teams have had a chance to examine the files they will be open to public scrutiny

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