British police helped develop evidence
while they were under investigation by Portuguese authorities, according
to a claim published by WikiLeaks.
Britain's ambassador to Portugal reportedly made the claim to an
American diplomat two weeks after Portuguese police named
Gerry McCann, of Rothley, as "arguidos", or formal suspects,
in their daughter's 2007 disappearance.
The message, contained in a US diplomatic communication, surfaced on the
Wikileaks website this week.
It does not specify what evidence British police are alleged to have
gathered or whether UK investigators were involved in the decision to
formally name the McCanns as suspects.
Also, it does not make clear which police force the document refers to.
The McCanns remained under official suspicion until July 2008, when
Portuguese police shelved the investigation into Madeleine's
disappearance and lifted the couple's status as arguidos.
for the McCanns said: "This is an entirely historic note that is more
than three years old. Subsequently, Kate and Gerry had their arguido
status lifted, with the Portuguese authorities making it perfectly clear
there was absolutely no evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's
Leicestershire officers were involved in aspects of the case.
A Leicestershire police spokeswoman said: "The investigation into the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a Portuguese led one.
"Our role from day one has been to co-ordinate and complete any UK based
Madeleine, then three, went missing from an
in the Algarve on May 3, 2007.