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Vile fantasist ties to sell 'dynamite' Madeleine McCann pics

Original Source: PEOPLE: SUNDAY 17 AUGUST 2008
17 August 2008
Exclusive by James Millbank

Maddie McCann's parents are "devastated and furious" over a cruel bid to cash in on their anguish.

Grasping Duarte Levy demanded ?50,000 for photographs he claims implicate Kate and Gerry in their daughter's disappearance.

The 23-stone Frenchman said the "dynamite" pictures showed Kate had changed clothes suspiciously the night Maddie vanished.

Despicable Levy also made the ludicrous claim that the 24 photos he was peddling cast doubt on what Gerry and one of the couple's Tapas 7 pals told Portuguese police.

Levy, who said he had close links to the cops, bragged outrageously: "These photos are a bombshell and will force the Maddie case to be re-opened."

The People refused his offers to sell the pictures - and told the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell of Levy's preposterous claims.


Mr Mitchell branded Levy "a con man and fantastist".


He said: "Kate and Gerry are angry and upset that he is seeking to make money out of Madeleine - it is a disgrace.


"They are no longer suspects and he should not be trying to tarnish their reputation. We thank The People for exposing this man."


A People investigator met Levy in a Brussels hotel last week. Levy said: "I will sell the photos to the highest bidder. I got hold of them through my contacts."


Levy - who is in his 40s and claims to have homes in Spain, Belgium and London - said he had sold pictures and stories about Maddie for tens of thousands of pounds.


He said his new photos showed doctors Kate and Gerry, both 40, dining with their friends in Praia da Luz the night Maddie, then three, disappeared 15 months ago.


Levy claimed that Kate and one of the Tapas 7 changed their clothes.


He also alleged: "The photos were taken between about 8.10pm and 10.15pm and they show that the time lines made by Gerry McCann and another Tapas 7 friend are wrong.


They are dynamite." Levy cruelly scorned Kate and Gerry's belief that Maddie is still alive. He said: "I believe she died in that room during an accident and then her body was moved to a flat in the town where it was kept in a freezer."


The claim is categorically denied by the McCanns and police produced no evidence to support the theory. Levy said the pictures were taken by a Spanish tourist whose camera was later stolen.


He claimed a police source tipped him off after officers found the camera, which he then bought legally.


Levy also tried to convince The People that a well-known British legal firm offered him 600,000 euros (?512,800) for the photographs.


Bizarrely, he said he refused because the lawyers would not agree to his demand that the police should have copies of the pictures.


He also offered The People recordings he claimed to have of the McCanns' financial backer, double-glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy, in a private meeting with Portuguese police.


Mr Mitchell last night said he did not know if Kate changed her clothes and added: "If she did, so what?" He said: "It is no big deal that Mr Kennedy met the police.


"He is interested in all - aspects of the investigation. He is a very hands-on person."


A friend of the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, said last night: "They have nothing to hide. It appears the Portuguese police are using Levy to leak negative material."


'Photos of couple are a bombshell...I will sell for highest offer'




Sunday, 17 August 2008 

The People: Duarte Levy's response about those photos.  

Clarification concerning the article in the Sunday newspaper, The People, August 17th 2008.


The information concerning me, published today in The People newspaper, is false. Between August 9th and August 15th, I was contacted by and met with several British journalists (*) at their request, about a witness who claimed to have seen Madeleine McCann in Brussels, and about the article published by me and Paulo Reis about the existence of 24 photos, taken on the the night of May 3rd by tourists who were at the Tapas Bar.


These colleagues asked me for help, because, besides the fact that they don't speak French, they didn't know Brussels, didn't know where or to whom to direct themselves to investigate the case of the witness claiming to have seen Madeleine.


As is the rule between professional colleagues, I met with these journalists and I helped them as much as I could. As is obvious, we spoke about the Madeleine McCann case, on the information published recently on my blog and on my colleague Paulo Reis' blog. We exchanged impressions and comments. I will not repeat the comments from my English colleagues, because private conversations are private conversations - at least for principled people.


So that it is clear, I do not have in my possession, anything which is of interest to the authorities or which might concern the investigation of a crime.


Duarte Levy


(*) Nick Fagge & Jonathan Buckmaster - Daily Express / Lucy Hagan - The Sun / Julie (?) Daily Mail / Emily Miller - The Mirror / James Millbank - The People (14 and 15 August) 

SOS Madeleine McCann 17/08/08


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