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Original Source: EXPRESS: 10-SEPTEMBER 2007
Monday September 10,2007
By Padraic Flanagan in Praia da Luz and Martin Evans in Rothley
THE parents of Madeleine McCann flew back to Britain yesterday as Portuguese police said: “We have enough evidence to convict you.”

They made their confidence clear as Kate and Gerry McCann dramatically returned home with two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

The couple left the Algarve just two days after they were named as official suspects in the disappearance of their elder daughter. Detectives now expect to receive further forensic evidence gathered from the McCanns’ ground-floor apartment at the Ocean Club complex today or tomorrow.

A source close to the Policia Judiciaria said they were expecting the results from the latest batch of tests to clinch their case against the couple.

But he added: “Even if it doesn’t, we have enough already to go on.” The source said detectives decided to focus their investigation on the McCanns, rather than an unknown abductor, many weeks ago and were planning to name them as suspects as long as a month ago.

He added that the results of tests on samples given to the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham revealed the experts were 78.95 per cent sure that blood found in the McCanns’ hire care was Madeleine’s.

Amid the drama, a family friend revealed that the McCanns went straight to Madeleine’s bedroom to pray when they finally reached home.

Detectives’ firm belief that they have a sound case with which to bring a prosecution led some to question why the McCanns were allowed to return home despite being official suspects.

But, under Portuguese law, the police now have 18 months in which to decide whether to charge them and the McCanns have given a written undertaking to return to Portugal if required.

Concern has also been raised that the PJ were apparently happy to allow the McCanns to continue using the hire car in which Madeleine’s blood was allegedly found despite British sources saying it should be treated as evidence.

Last night it emerged that the McCanns have chosen not to return the silver car to the hire firm. They are understood to be continuing to rent it so that they can have their own forensic tests carried out.

The move underlines the family’s determination to fight the case being built against them.

Moments after disembarking from an aircraft at East Midlands Airport, Gerry McCann, his voice breaking with emotion, said he and Kate “played no part in Madeleine’s disappearance”.

He added: “While we are returning to the UK, it does not mean we are giving up our search for Madeleine.

“As parents, we cannot give up on our daughter until we know what has happened. We have to keep doing everything we can to find her.”

But police in Portugal are now convinced Madeleine, who was three when she vanished on May 3, is dead and that her parents, both 39-year-old doctors, were involved in her death.

The McCanns fear they will both be charged with the death of their daughter after they were named as “arguidos” – official suspects – following two days of police questioning at the end of last week.

The sensational twist in the case – it is now 130 days since Madeleine vanished – came after police received the results of forensic tests.

During Kate McCann’s day-long interview with police last Thursday she was shown a video taken by officers of sniffer dogs signalling the scent of a corpse on her clothes.

“She showed no reaction to this,” said the source. “But she broke down when officers told her the blood was from her daughter’s dead body.”

Once new evidence has been received, the police source said the McCanns could be ordered to go before the court of examining magistrate Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses. The police source said Policia Judiciaria chiefs were compiling the latest case notes but they were incomplete because Kate and Gerry refused to answer a total of 40 questions put to them by senior detectives.

Guilhermino Encarnacao, one of the chief detectives who carried out the interviews with Kate and Gerry, said yesterday: “The theory of the death of Madeleine is gaining progressively more and more consistency.

“The investigation continues with all the means we have for searching for the body.”

He went on: “A new cycle in the investigation will now start, with many leads that the body of the little girl could be here or there. But the Policia Judiciaria will only act on credible leads.”

Fresh details also emerged about the interrogation faced by Kate, who is reported to have explained that blood found in Madeleine’s bedroom could have come from a nosebleed.

When the officer told the part-time GP that the sample showed the child was already dead, Kate was reported to have replied “That’s impossible” before becoming agitated.

The police source said detectives then tried to take further advantage of Kate’s upset state by

confronting her with evidence from the car.

The source said Kate then refused to answer any more questions, saying it was “absurd” to consider her a suspect.

When Gerry was questioned, the source added, he became angry at being accused of hiding the body and answered “very few questions.”


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