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Gerry McCann buried Madeleine's body on the beach Portuguese detective says

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX BOOK PHOTOS T.O.T.L. NEWS SEPTEMBER 2008
Original Source: TELEGRAPH: SUNDAY 06 SEPTEMBER 2008
By David Harrison Last Updated: 5:25PM BST 06 Sep 2008
By David Harrison Last Updated: 5:56PM BST 06 Sep 2008
 

(Note: This article was removed within 4 hours of appearing online)

 
The Portuguese detective who was sacked as head of the team investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has accused her father of burying her body on the beach near their holiday apartment the same night that she was reported missing.
 
In the latest of a series of extraordinary claims about the case, Goncalo Amaral, says he believes that Maddy died accidently in the McCann's rented flat as the result of a fall and that her father disposed of the body.
 
The disgraced detective - who has sold 120,000 copies of a book he has just published a book about the case - says an Irishman had claimed that he had seen Mr McCann with a child in his arms walking towards the beach on the night that Maddy reportedly disappeared.
 
The McCanns dismissed the claims, made in an interview with a Spanish newspaper, as "ridiculous".
 
Clarence Mitchell, the family's spokesman, said: "As Kate has said today Mr Amaral is a complete disgrace.
 
"His comments are grossly defamatory and utterly without foundation."
 
Mr Amaral, who has now retired from Portugal's Judicial Police investigation force, says in the El Mundo newspaper: "The Portuguese police, like the British [police], and also the prosecutor, who has now changed his opinion, thought the same. We are talking of a death involving third parties, not of homicide.
 
"In the bedroom blood and the smell of a body were found just below a window where there was a sofa. The father was there for a short time just outside this window having a conversation with a friend.
 
"The parents said the girl did not have a bad dream. Maybe the girl heard the father and climbed onto the sofa under the window. But the parents had pulled it away from the wall. so that the girl would not get out, and Madeleine could have fallen."
 
The former policeman talks about the Irish witness seeing Mr McCann carrying a child towards the beach and about sniffer dogs finding traces of blood and the scent of a body on the wall of the apartment and in the boot of a car the couple hired 23 days after Maddy disappeared.
 
This prompts the interviewer to ask: "Gerry McCann buried his daughter on the beach and then disinterred her and put her in the boot 23 days later?"
 
Amaral replies: "We don't know. The Irish witness I have spoken about saw on television Gerry with a child in his arms arriving in the United Kingdom and declared it was the same image that he had seen in May in Portugal. This man went two days without sleeping when he realised what he had discovered."
 
The interviewer says that Amaral's claim implies that the Tapas Nine - the McCanns and their friends who dined together on the night of Maddy's disappearance - had all ageed to lie.
 
Amaral says: "All of them. Because, in case you don't know, British legislation covering negligence in caring for children is very hard...In the United Kingdom, if you leave a child alone for half an hour you will lose custody. After the death of Madeleine, if it had been made public that it was an accident, all of them would have lost custody [of their children]."
 
The former detective describes how on one occasion during a meeting Kate McCann had lowered her head and seemed to be totally distracted for several seconds before coming back to being her usual self. "It appeared that she had escaped from the role that she was interpreting," he says.
 
Asked how she reacted when she was asked if Maddy had been killed by falling from the sofa he replies: "She didn't say anything, she just lowered her head for a moment as if she was on the point of fainting. She had an emotional crack that lasted for just a moment."
 
Amaral adds: "For me, Gerry hid the body of Madeleine on the beach. And after some days he transfered it to his car. We were working in this direction.
 
"We lacked establishing the date, some details, but we were on the way. The Irishman was on the point of coming to Portugal, but it took too long, and there were external pressures. In the end he didn't make a statement to the [Judicial] Police."
 
A friends of the McCanns dismissed Amaral's claims as "nonsense and legally extremely dangerous", and said that Kate and Gerry would sue Amaral if he published his book in the UK.
 
Mr Mitchell said: "Mr Amaral needs to be very careful in repeating those allegations. Kate and Gerry's lawyers are watching his words very carefully.
 
"He is also completely at odds with with his own Attorney-General who, in lifting Kate and Gerry's "arguido" - official suspect - status, made it clear that there is no evidence to suggest they are guilty of any crime whatsoever."

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