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The 17 key questions detectives may have asked Madeleine's mother

Original Source: MAIL: 08 SEPTEMBER 2007
8th September 2007
During 15 hours of questions, police put a series of key points to Kate McCann in their attempt to solve the Madeleine mystery. Sam Greenhill examines some of the likely demands detectives would have made of the 39-year-old GP in the interview room.

Did you kill your daughter?
Mr and Mrs McCann have long been aware that they were the subject of rumour and suspicion but this is the first time the police have put it to them. Her friends and family cannot believe that the "imbecile" police have the nerve even to ask it.

Did you sedate Madeleine?
The couple have repeatedly denied using sedatives on their children to help them sleep at night while they went out. They have strongly rebutted accusations they accidentally gave her an overdose. There has been persistent speculation over why the couple's twin son and daughter slept soundly throughout the abduction and subsequent commotion once Madeleine was discovered missing. The McCanns say they have never used any kind of sedative on their children and never would.

Did you have any syringes in the apartment?
An astonishing claim in a Portuguese newspaper alleged that police think there could have been a tranquilliser kit used on Madeleine. Mrs McCann is believed to have fiercely rejected this, and the couple have stated there was no syringe in the apartment.

How much did you drink on the night?
Some reports have suggested the McCanns and their friends sank 14 bottles of wine at dinner that night, but they insist they got through no more than three bottles between nine adults.

Did you ever leave Madeleine all evening to go into town?
It was reported that a barman claimed he had seen the McCanns one evening in the town of Lagos, five miles away, although they insist they ate every night at the Ocean Club restaurant in Praia da Luz, and none of their friends has disputed this.

Who checked on the children and at what times, exactly?
Confusion has always surrounded the exact timings because no one was supposed to discuss the case or give a timeline in detail. From clues and comments pieced together over the past months, it appears the McCanns and their friends agree that Gerry checked at 9.05pm, friend Matthew Oldfield at 9.30pm (but he did not actually go into Madeleine's bedroom) and then Kate at 10pm. But detectives are interested in the period from 8pm when it is understood that no one apart from the McCanns saw Madeleine.

Did you ever leave her unattended for much longer than you claim?
Statements from witnesses near the apartment allegedly claim that in the evenings before her disappearance, Madeleine was heard crying for her parents for long periods. The McCanns deny this, saying they checked on their children regularly and are responsible parents.

Does your husband know about it?
Mrs McCann is likely to be invited to implicate her husband. The McCanns have always stood strong together and say the crisis has strengthened the bond between them, although Gerry did storm out of a TV interview recently leaving his wife behind when he was asked about the investigation.

Does anyone else know? Do your friends know?
The idea that any of the McCanns' seven companions, some of them doctors, could have been involved in such a huge conspiracy and then convincingly maintained the secret is one of the most puzzling aspects of what appears to be the police's theory. Yet officers are focusing on alleged discrepancies in their statements.

Why did you shout: 'They've taken her, they've taken her!' after returning from Madeleine's room on the night of her disappearance?

These were the words Mrs McCann was reported to have screamed as she ran back to the restaurant table in a panic. The police were intrigued by her use of the word "they".

Why did a dog detect the smell of a corpse on your clothes?
A British dog trained to find dead bodies is alleged to have smelled something on Mrs McCann's jeans and T- shirt, and also on Madeleine's toy Cuddle Cat. Mrs McCann is believed to have replied that she came into contact with at least six dead people in her work as a GP in the period leading up to the holiday. Could Cuddle Cat, which she always holds close to her, have been contaminated from her clothes?

Why did you hire a car?
The McCanns did not hire a car until 25 days after Madeleine went missing. Until then, they did without one, apparently remaining in Praia da Luz or being driven around by police, embassy staff or friends. But in recent weeks, Mr McCann has regularly talked about using the hired silver Renault Scenic to ferry visiting friends and relatives to and from the airport in Faro.

Why did you hire it the day before going to see the Pope?
Detectives are puzzled why the McCanns needed to hire a car the day before they knew they would be leaving Portugal to fly to Rome. They did not need it to reach the airport as they were driven there by an aide. Yesterday the McCanns' spokesman said there was no significance in the date. The couple had arranged to hire a car and that was the day it had come through.

Did the hire car contain any of Madeleine's belongings?
If forensic evidence of Madeleine was found in the car, such as a hair, is there a legitimate explanation? Perhaps something belonging to her was later put in the car, for example when the McCanns moved to their new villa.

Could Madeleine have bled on something which was later put in the hire car?

Madeleine did slip and bang her leg, filmed on a family mobile phone video, as she boarded the holiday aircraft. Could she have shed blood on to some clothing which the McCanns later moved in the hire car?

Did you move Madeleine's body in your hire car?
Forensic evidence apparently points to Madeleine in the car. Mrs McCann strenuously denies any suggestion she moved any body.

Tell us what you did with her...
Mrs McCann was asked this directly, according to her husband's sister Philomena. Her reply was said to be: "You must be insane to think we'd put ourselves through


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