British media reports this past week were dominated
by extracts from the case files into the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann. While the British
media focussed on flaws that have emerged in the
files regarding the techniques employed by
detectives, their Portuguese counterparts have been
more subdued, though criticism of the national force
has been filtering through.
While extracts will
continue to emerge in the coming days contained in
the 11,223 pages which make up the report issued
this week by the Public Prosecutors Office in
Portimăo, initial reading has painted Kate and Gerry
McCann as victims, with little to substantiate
suspicion of the couple whose daughter went missing
last year on May 3rd.
Among the arguments presented by prosecutors in the
final report on Madeleine’s disappearance, is the
fact that neither of the parents were in the
apartment at the time of their daughter’s
The report states that one of the reasons the couple
were made suspects was due to the reaction of
sniffer dogs brought over from Britain to Praia da
Luz last August. However, it adds that subsequent
analysis failed to substantiate the ‘findings’ made
by these dogs.
Another piece of evidence which apparently led to
the McCanns being made suspects was an e-mail deemed
to be compromising by detectives. But this evidence
was later also ruled out.
The report also reasons that even if the couple had
been responsible for the death of their daughter, no
explanations existed as to under what circumstances
it occurred, such as how, when, why and with what
Prosecutors further highlight that Kate and Gerry
had little knowledge of the surrounding areas, when
they considered the potential scenario that they
were involved in their daughter’s disappearance and
concealment of her body.
The report continues by stating that the McCanns had
no contacts in Portugal. This statement is backed up
by phone records which show the couple had only
contacted the friends they were on holiday with in
the days leading up to Madeleine’s disappearance.
Prosecutors also confirm that the first call made by
the couple after their daughter went missing was to
the police, and not to a British television station
as had been widely claimed in some sections of the
Portuguese media quoting police sources.
Prosecutors, while ruling out any involvement of the
couple, express regret at being unable to perform a
reconstruction of the night of May 3rd, arguing it
would have liked to test the listening service or
surveillance methods members of so-called Tapas 9
employed that night.
Prosecutors admit to still having some doubts as to
testimonies provided by members of the group,
including the McCanns, referring to details they say
were not entirely clarified.
The report states that the case has not been
definitively closed, and adds that all scenarios
remain open: abduction, murder or accidental death
and concealment of the body.
a series of passing remarks, the report lashes out
at certain sections of the media, saying the
behaviour of some journalists hampered
investigations and criticised reporters for laying
the guilt on Kate and Gerry McCann, which it says
revealed a lack of respect for their fellow human
Three days before Kate and Gerry McCann were
declared formal suspects or arguidos, Portuguese
police received the “inconclusive” results of tests
conducted by the highly-esteemed Forensic Science
Service (FSS) in Birmingham on two separate samples
of DNA, extracts from the case files into Madeline
McCann’s disappearance have revealed.
But on September 7th, in handwritten notes by an
unidentified officer, it is revealed that Gerry
McCann was told his daughter’s DNA was discovered in
the boot of the rented Renault Scenic and behind a
sofa in the family’s holiday apartment. The notes
said: “Confronted with the fact that Madeleine’s DNA
was gathered from behind the sofa and from the boot
of the vehicle, and analysed by a British
laboratory, he said he could not explain why this
The results were handed over to Portuguese
detectives by Stuart Prior from the Leicestershire
police on September 4th, the day after he was
notified by the FSS of the inconclusive nature of
The samples were taken from the trunk of the car
hired by the McCanns and from the floor behind the
sofa located inside their holiday apartment.
the first case, the FSS explains in an e-mail that
“there is no evidence to support the view that
Madeline McCann contributed DNA” to the swab it
tested, while on the second, it says “an incomplete
DNA result was obtained” though the “swab contained
very little information” and “showed low level
indications of DNA from more than one person”.
the FSS report, compiled by John Lowe, the view is
taken that it is impossible to prove that the DNA
swabs match Madeleine’s profile.
The FSS also says it cannot answer the question; “Is
the match genuine or is it a chance match”.
letter by Kate McCann, sent to leading investigator
last December, which remains unanswered also reveals
further a insight into the relationship between the
couple and police.
After introducing herself as Madeleine McCann’s
mother, Kate writes that “the last seven months has
been the most difficult, sad and unbearable time
that any parent could possibly imagine. Madeleine is
the most precious thing in our life.
“As her mother, the pain and anxiety I feel for her
is indescribable and the feeling of helplessness –
overwhelming. The ‘accusations’ and media smearing,
although upsetting, are very much secondary.
am appealing to you as a fellow human being to work
with us (if possible, include us) and to remember
that we are Madeleine’s parents and that we have
needs”, she wrote.
Kate McCann adds further that “Lack of communication
and a void of information, particularly as the
parent of a missing child, is torture.
“This shouldn’t be about the ‘finger-pointing-blame’
nor should it be about differences in culture. It
should be about a beautiful little girl who is still
missing. She is the victim of all this. It would be
good for Madeleine if we could all work together to
help find her and the person(s) who took her.
would be very grateful if you could give some
thought and consideration to my letter and look
forward to your reply. I can only ask.”