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McCanns angry at 'smears' fuelled by WikiLeaks files

Original Source: LEICESTER MERCURY: 21 DECEMBER 2010
By Dan Martin
Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 09:30

Kate and Gerry McCann

Kate and Gerry McCann have condemned claims published by website WikiLeaks that British police helped gather evidence against them.

The McCanns, from Rothley, said the publication of the claim, made last week, had led to repeated allegations and smears against them.

In a Christmas message published on their website, they thanked their supporters in their search for Madeleine but said they continued to be subject to "heartbreaking" injustices.

The couple are preparing for their fourth Christmas without their daughter, who went missing from the Portuguese resort of
Praia de Luz in May 2007 during a family holiday.

In the
message published on their official website, they said: "We would like to thank all our supporters for staying at our side in spite of the injustices that we continue to be subjected to.

"Madeleine is the person who suffers most from all of this injustice.

"It is this fact alone which causes us the most distress.

"It is absolutely heartbreaking.

"The WikiLeaks news has led to the repetition of many unfounded allegations and smears both in the UK and in Portugal in particular.

"This has been seized on as an opportunity by those who wish to compound our suffering and hamper our efforts.

"Those who could help Madeleine but choose to do nothing are also complicit in this injustice.

"Without the love and help from so many good people around the world we would not be able to find the strength to continue the fight to find our daughter."

Britain's ambassador to Portugal reportedly made the claim to an American diplomat two weeks after Portuguese police named Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, as "arguidos", or formal suspects, in their daughter's disappearance.

The message, contained in a US diplomatic communication, surfaced on the WikiLeaks website last week.

Mr and Mrs McCann's status as
suspects was lifted in July 2008 when Portuguese detectives shelved the case.

Mr and Mrs McCann said: "We hope with all our hearts that wherever she is, she is safe and well and whoever may be with her is treating her with the love and respect she so deserves."

More than 37,000 people have signed the couple's online petition calling on the UK and Portuguese Governments to conduct an independent review into the evidence collected during the search for Madeleine.

Mr and Mrs McCann added: "Along with our family, we would like to thank everyone who has sent us Christmas cards, letters, donations and gifts at this difficult time of year.

"It is impossible to find enough positive words to describe such kindness or the hugely important and heart-warming effect it has on us.

"Without any doubt, it helps us immensely and we are incredibly grateful."

Find Madeleine fund, set up by the McCanns to help search for their missing daughter, stood at 470,034 at the end of March, according to accounts published at Companies House.

Since then, Mr and Mrs McCann have signed a deal to write a
 book about Madeleine's disappearance, with all proceeds going to the fund.

Last year, the fund paid for the
private investigators, a telephone hotline for public information and the McCanns' legal battle to ban a book about what happened to Madeleine by former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The Government wants to ensure everything feasible is being done to progress the search for Madeleine.

"The British authorities will maintain a dialogue with the Portuguese and continue to liaise with Madeleine's family on any developments."


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