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How the Portuguese media reported the story

Original Source: TELEGRAPH: SUNDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2007
By Alex Bellos
Last Updated: 1:38am BST 09/09/2007

The McCann case dominated the Portuguese media yesterday.
In the Diario de Noticias, sources linked to the case were quoted as saying that the police suspected Kate McCann was "mentally unbalanced" and that Gerry McCann had admitted giving a sedative to Madeleine.

"One of the lines of investigation is that the child was given too much medication," it reported.

Showing more restraint, the main leader in the upmarket daily Publico warned that the judicial process must be left to take its course.

However, it argued that the case had reached a point of no return. "The Portuguese police are risking their credibility irreversibly.

"Either [the Portuguese police] have some trump cards up their sleeve to make us understand and justify the hypothesis that everyone hopes is not true. Or they are shooting in the dark and ruining their image."

Nicolau Santos, a columnist in Expresso, defended the local police.

"On the one side, the Portuguese media is putting pressure on the police for results, to find the guilty, to discover the girl.

"Meanwhile the English media insinuate that the Portuguese police are incompetent and haven't conducted the investigations in the best possible way. In the middle of such pressure, the police don't react in the best way."

In the tabloid Correio da Manha, columnist Octavio Ribeiro took aim at the British press.

He said the media had been overly enthusiastic in believing the McCanns' story from the beginning.

"The behaviour of the English press in the Maddy case is the symptom of a serious disease," he wrote.

"The way that the mass of British papers - and not just the tabloids - militantly kept to a fixed idea of what had happened goes against the principles of good journalism."

On a lighter note, in the Diario de Noticias Ferreira Fernandes wrote that Portugal's latest contribution to world culture was the word arguida. He explained the word by saying it was a typical fudge.

He wrote: "It is accusing someone, and then saying: 'Don't take it badly, mate'. You can't get more Portuguese than that. The world arguida has conquered the world. Now all that's left is to convince the judges."


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