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Annika Widebeck Interview Sweden.The parents are still looking for missing Madeleine McCann

Original Source: TV4PLAY SWEDEN: 23 MARCH 2012

With thanks to McCann files & A k Miller for transcript


6 years ago little Madeleine McCann disappeared during a family holiday in Portugal. Her parents have not given up hope of finding her alive.


The McCanns meet Annika Widebeck

Gerry McCann: Hi, Gerry.

Annika Widebeck: I'm Annika, hi.

Gerry McCann: Nice to meet you.

Kate McCann: Hi, Kate.

Gerry and Kate McCann walking towards cafe

Gerry McCann [voice over]: I don't think you can give up, even when we've been exhausted to the point of saying 'I just want this to end', you go to bed, you get up the next day and you think, 'she's still missing and we still need to find her' and I think most parents understand that.

Kate McCann [voice over]: I mean, I... I feel she's out there. I feel that there's... there's more to come. I just need it to be soon.

Kate and Gerry McCann being interviewed

Annika Widebeck [voice over]: How convinced are you that she is still alive then?

Gerry McCann: Well, I try to look at it as logically as possible. What we do know is that there's no evidence, at all, to suggest that Madeleine's dead and that means there's a good chance that she's alive, and as a parent I couldn't accept that she was dead without irrefutable evidence that she is, so...

Kate McCann: And I think we do know of so many cases now of children who have been abducted and have, you know, been away for years and sometimes decades.

Annika Widebeck: Like when you're walking in like a Swedish beautiful weather, do you think about now, at this very second, she can be some place and wonder about where?

Kate McCann: I do... It's funny you mention about the weather because it's days like this when I think 'oh, what a lovely day' and that's when I think 'but this would be a lovelier day, if Madeleine was here', errm... (big sigh) I do... I mean... I don't... I try not to speculate too much. I really don't know where she is, all I hope for is that whoever's with her is looking after her and that she's happy, and even that is... is, errm... is sad because, you know, the thought of her being happy with somebody else, when she should be with us, and being happy and, you know, there's no doubt that a child's best place is with their family.

Annika Widebeck: And she's soon turning 9, now right?

Kate McCann: Yeah, she'll be 9 on the 12th of May... yeah.

Annika Widebeck: So you think about how she could look like now?

Gerry McCann: We do, and, errr... you know, Amelie is only 20 months younger than Madeleine, so we're seeing the twins go past the age that Madeleine was taken at. We see her best friend at school and, errm... and you can't help but think what she would look like and clearly the developmental stages of the kids and their reading and writing and doing all the things that you assume that you would have been doing with Madeleine. So these... these aspects are hard, they're very hard.

Annika Widebeck to camera in Swedish

Gerry McCann: You know, there was a very clear strategy at work that was, errr... trying to convey to the world that, errr... there was strong evidence that Madeleine was dead and we were involved and, in fact, thankfully the prosecutor's final report makes it absolutely clear that, you know, there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there's certainly no evidence to link us, errr... to implicate us is any way. So...

Kate McCann: The damage, errm... that was done with all the media reporting with the lies and speculation and fabrication and being made arguido. I think the damage was ongoing. We've had this in other countries, outside the UK and Portugal. Unlike the UK and Portugal, where the story carried on, some... in other countries it stopped, so it stopped at the dramatic, 'oh, the parents are involved' and then, you know, they moved on to another story really, and all I can say to people is please, please read my book.

Annika Widebeck: What's... why is it important for you that people here in Sweden then, errm... understand more what happened?

Kate McCann: I mean, I just think the more people that know Madeleine's missing and the more people that are aware of her plight, the more eyes that are looking, ears that are listening. Just the greater chance we have of finding Madeleine, you know, people travel a lot as well these days, you know, people communicate over the internet, and you just don't know where that key bit of information is going to come from.

Gerry McCann: Madeleine could have easily been taken out of Portugal within the first two hours and that's the problem. We have no idea where she is, we don't know who's taken her and we don't know why, so unfortunately for us we want as much awareness as possible that Madeleine's missing and obviously with her looks she could (laughs) blend into Scandanavia fairly easily.

Annika Widebeck: But it's... it's difficult because you... you have to still keep on playing with the media that did so much bad to you.

Kate McCann: It is... I mean, it's... I mean, it's hard but we still do need the media to help find Madeleine and that... I hope that the media will... will stop and think at some point and take responsibility really because they're incredibly powerful and they can do so, so much good. I mean we're talking about children, you know, and trying to find a child who's been stolen from their family and, you know, use your power to good use, you know. That's all I can say.

Annika Widebeck voice over in Swedish, images from September 2007

Kate McCann: I mean, it was awful. I mean, not only were we going through the pain and the anxiety of not having Madeleine with us and not knowing where she was, suddenly all these stories were appearing and for us the biggest injustice in all that was the effect that would have on the search for Madeleine because if people believed what was getting written or getting given to the media, errm... suggesting that she was dead then they wouldn't look at her or they wouldn't come forward with information.

Gerry McCann: You can understand that when people are fed information that parents are in suspicious involve people will want to believe that because they'll want to think that this will not happen to them and they'll want to think that there actually... there isn't actually an abductor out there and their children are not at risk but what happens on the ground is very different. We know now that people in Portugal, and elsewhere, people keep their children much closer to them, and...

Annika Widebeck: Closer than... than in the UK?

Gerry McCann: I think certainly there's been remakably few child abductions since Madeleine was taken and I think people are more aware, and one of the things we've tried to do throughout the last 5 years is not look back because you can't change what's happened. We're more interested in what can still be done and... and at this minute, and following Kate's book launched last year, the Metropolitan Police are now reviewing the case and working with a... a new team in Portugal and that's much much more important about discredited former officers.

Annika Widebeck: Tell me how far away was this restaurant?

Gerry McCann: I mean it was incredibly close. I think if you had to draw a straight line from the restaurant to the apartment it was 50 metres. It never entered our head for a second that somebody would steal your child, it was the furthest thing from your mind, so...

Annika Widebeck: And still you hear this all the time why did you leave them... right?

Kate McCann: I mean, there's only so many times we can answer the question and, you know, I've had to.. you know, I've persecuted myself with that, you know, obviously... (sigh) I can't change it, I know how much we love Madeleine, you know, and at the end of the day the person who has taken Madeleine is the one who has committed the crime and, errr... and that's who we need to find.

Annika Widebeck: So how do you see the future - will you ever put some sort of end of this?

Kate McCann: I think until we find Madeleine, find out what's happened, then that won't be possible and I... I don't think any parent could, you know, it's not something that you can switch off from, it's not... it's your child, you know, that bond is too strong. You don't know if it's because you're the mother that you... you just want it so badly, that's why it feels but I know there's nothing telling me to stop, you know, and I... as I say I can talk to her like she's there, and she's coming back, and I just want it to be soon.


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