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I just want to go home, says fitness teacher
who is key witness

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WITNESS PHOTOS TAPAS 9 PHOTOS NEWS AUGUST 2007

Original Source:  MAIL: THURSDAY 16 AUGUST 2007

Last updated at 12:03 16 August 2007
 
chekay

Natalie Chekay:
just wants to go home

A Briton critical to the Madeleine McCann investigation has told friends she is now desperate to leave Portugal.

Aerobics instructor Najoua Chekaya was chatting with Gerry and Kate McCann and their friends when Madeleine, then three, vanished from the family's Algarve apartment in Praia da Luz.

That night, Ms Chekaya had organised a bar quiz at the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns were staying. Her evidence is understood to corroborate the McCanns' movements in the hour before the disappearance was discovered.

This week police in Portugal publicly declared the McCanns, both doctors from Leicestershire, were not suspects following a smear campaign which suggested they and their friends were somehow implicated.

Ms Chekaya, 21, from Flitwick, Beds, is still working in Praia da Luz for Ocean Club operator Mark Warner.

But she wrote to one friend on social networking site Facebook: "Missin you guys loads. dun with portugal now, wana cum home n have fun in flitwick!! neva thought id say that!!"

Portuguese laws make it an offence for witnesses in a criminal inquiry to discuss their evidence, but it is understood Ms Chekaya was invited by Mr McCann to join his table when the quiz finished at 9.30pm.

It is understood she remained chatting with the McCanns and their friends until 10pm, when Mrs McCann went to check on

Madeleine and discovered her daughter missing. What happened between 9pm and 10pm is likely to hold the key to Madeleine's fate.

Mr McCann checked on Madeleine and her two younger siblings at 9.05pm and reported that all was well and his daughter fast asleep.

 

About 10 to 15 minutes after he returned to the table, a friend, Jane Tanner, went to check. She reported seeing a dark-haired man of about 35 carrying a child as she walked back to the bar afterwards but thought nothing of it.

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