The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Investigating Team *

The key members of the Policia Judiciaria and Portuguese legal team who are involved in the investigation of Madeleine McCanns' disappearance.
Portuguese Justice Minister
Alberto Costa
Alberto Costa
Portuguese Justice Minister
Portugal Justice Minister, Alberto Costa, had to step in publicly to assure all parties that the relationship between the Portuguese and British police forces working on the Madeleine McCann case was still strong and of "beneficial co-operation."

Alberto Costa claimed that "it is important that all teams are focused on the investigation work and not on the comments" and was reacting to comments made by Gonçalo Amaral to a daily newspaper where he criticised British police action. Gonçalo Amaral, who has said he thought his statements were being made "off the record", had accused British police of "working exclusively on the information wanted by the McCanns and that suits them better."

Mr Amaral's comments were made in relation to a report in the British media about an anonymous email sent to the official website of Prince Charles.

The email accused a former employee of the Ocean Club of being responsible for the abduction of Madeleine McCann in a revenge action to destroy the resort's credibility. But the PJ investigator said this information "had no credibility for the Portuguese police" and therefore "it was completely excluded" from the investigation.
Attorney General
Pinto Monteiro
Fernando José Pinto Monteiro
Attorney General
Fernando José Pinto Monteiro was born in 1942 in the village of Porto de Ovelha, council of Almeida, district of Guarda. He has a degree in Law from the Law Faculty of Coimbra University, he was a delegate for the Public Ministry in Idanha-a-Nova, Anadia, Oporto and Lisbon and a Law judge in Ponta do Sol, Alcácer do Sal, Loures, Torres Vedras and Lisbon. He was a at the Appeals Court of Lisbon and since 1998 he is a counselling judge at the Supreme Court of Justice. In October 2006 he was nominated Attorney General of the Republic by Cavaco Silva and José Sócrates.
(Thanks to Astro for profile)
Criminal instruction judge
Pedro Daniel dos Anjos Frias
Criminal instruction judge


This short Portuguese video shows Pedro Frias, the investigating judge, arriving at court in his car. In the video they say that he is 38 years old and previously worked in the circle of Lagos.
It was Pedro Daniel dos Anjos Frias, who rejected the prosecutors' request to have the McCanns brought back to Portugal for further questioning. He insisted that the fresh interviews be carried out by British police in the UK.
There is also a brief clip of the McCanns entering the church at Praia da Luz with their own key and a short interview with Father Hubbard.

João Melchior Gomes
Public Prosecutor
It was first announced in Jornal de Noticias, on 17 September 2007 (see below), that João Melchior Gomes, 59 years, had been taken on to 'supervise the process'. It was he, along with Jose de Magalhaes e Menezes, who produced the 58-page report - the concluding volume of the case files - which explained the reasons behind the decision to archive the process.
In it they said Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, did not "act with intent" in leaving their children alone in their holiday apartment on the night the child went missing.
"They could not predict that in the resort they chose they could place the life of any of their children in danger," the prosecutors wrote.
They noted the McCanns were "already serving a heavy sentence" — Madeleine's disappearance — for going out to dinner without their children.
Portuguese detectives were unable to provide evidence that would allow the "formulation of any lucid, sensible, serious and honest conclusion" about the circumstances of the child going missing, the report said.
It continued: "This includes the most dramatic thing — ascertaining whether she is still alive or dead, which seems the most probable.
"The investigators are fully conscious their work is not exempt from imperfections. They worked with an enormous margin of error and achieved very little in terms of conclusive results, especially about the fate of the unfortunate child.
"This is not, unfortunately, a detective novel, a crime scenario fit for the investigative efforts of a Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, guided by the illusion that the forces of law and justice can always re-establish order."
From Jornal de Noticias 05 August 2008:
'The degree of probability that a homicide took place is "high". It is the joint general prosecutor, João Melchior Gomes, who says it. He singlehandedly signs the archiving dispatch, despite the fact that at the end of the document, the name of prosecutor Magalhães e Menezes can also be read, but without a signature. As arguments, he uses the fact that it has not been proved "in the light of logical criteria" that someone would have been able to remove the child from the apartment without being seen, thus setting the abduction theory apart. But he does recognise that it was not possible "to establish whether she is alive or dead, as it seems more probable".

The same prosecutor considered that Kate and Gerry "could not predict that in the resort (…) they could endanger the life of any of their children, and that was not demanded from them either: it is located in a quiet area, where most of the residents are foreign citizens of the same nationality and without any known history of criminality of this kind". As a sort of justification for not accusing Kate and Gerry, he also says that "we should recognise that the parents are already serving a heavy penalty – the disappearance of Madeleine – due to their carelessness in the vigilance and protection of the children".

José Cunha de Magalhães e Meneses


José Cunha de Magalhães e Meneses

Local Prosecutor

Meneses is the Public Prosecutor of the Portimão Court, who, in September 2007, was assigned the unenviable task of reviewing the ten boxes of evidence (all 4,000 pages) in the Madeleine McCann Case.

Meneses was later involved in reviewing the latest evidence with Paulo Rebelo on his return from his interrogations of the Tapas 7. The meeting was crucial in determining whether the McCanns would remain official police suspects.

Luis Armando Bilro Verão
Public Prosecutor
Portugal's Public Prosecutor, was understood to be overseeing the investigation of the Madeleine McCann Case along with José Cunha de Magalhães e Meneses.

On 20 September 2007, it was Verao who announced that no new evidence had emerged against the McCanns, during the 13 days since they were made official suspects, to justify further interrogation at this stage. In his first official statement, he said that the McCanns remained arguidos, or official suspects, and that the investigation against them continued.
Surprisingly, he does not appear to have been involved in the writing of the final report to archive the case.

Antonio Cluny


António Cluny
President of Portugal's public prosecutors
Antonio Cluny told the 24horas newspaper: "Without the little girl's body, everything is complicated.
"There have been cases in which it was possible to obtain a conviction without there being a victim but there were confessions. One cannot accuse a person of homicide without there being very strong evidence.
"In the Maddy case, there is no confession and, according to what has been made public, the evidence gathered up until now keeps all leads open - from abduction to homicide or at least to a simple accident."

National director of the Policia Judiciaria
Almeida Rodrigues
Almeida Rodrigues
National director of the Policia Judiciaria


An operational one to front the PJ SOL 
Ana Paula Azevedo
07 May 2008 (Thanks to 'SS' from the3arguidos forum for translation)
Almeida Rodrigues is the first non-magistrate chosen to lead the Judicial Police. The successor of Alípio Ribeiro is currently the national deputy sub-director of PJ’s Coimbra Directorate.

It is not the first time he assumes a leadership role, as he was one of the three national deputy directors to Santos Cabral, the head of the PJ immediately before Alípio Ribeiro.

José Maria de Almeida Rodrigues, 49 years old, has a university degree in law and has made his career as an investigator. Through his hands passed some very public murder cases.

When, in 2001, he was heading Aveiro's PJ, he was the one in charge of the investigation of Tó Jó, the young man who murdered his parents inspired by satanic rituals.

With the resignation of Santos Cabral, Almeida Rodrigues worked as number 2 of Coimbra's PJ. In those functions, he dealt with another multiple murder case – the GNR corporal Antonio Costa.

This case – which was known as "the serial killer of Santa Comba Dão" ended in the conviction of the corporal for the murder of two young women. More recently, he was involved in the arrest of "El Solitario", the Spaniard accused of violent robberies to more than 30 banks which caused the death of 3 people.

The nomination of Almeida Rodrigues to head the PJ was announced through a communiqué of the Ministry of Justice where it is referred that the minister "accepted the resignation request handed today by the national director of the PJ, Alípio Ribeiro".

Almeida Rodrigues, with Luis Neves current head of the Direcção Central de Combate ao Banditismo (DCCB) (Central Directorate of Combat to Banditism) was one of the names that, in the last hours, were considered by the government to replace Alípio Ribeiro, as had been stated to Lusa by a police source.

Magistrates: never again?

His name is highly regarded within the PJ, being the first time that an 'operational' is nominated to the top Job, up to now it has always been headed by magistrates.

There is great expectation in the PJ as to who will be his deputies. The nomination of magistrates is dependent on the approval of the Judiciary and Public Ministry Superior Councils.

There is some speculation that these Councils may not accept that a judge or magistrate work under the orders of a career police officer. If that would be the case, it could be the end of the magistrates in the top echelons of the PJ.

Only in 2001 a change in the law allowed for the possibility of a non-magistrate heading the PJ. With Almeida Rodrigues, it is the first time such a possibility is actually taken.

Chief of the Policia Judiciaria criminal investigation department
Paulo Rebelo
Paulo Rebelo

Chief of the PJ criminal investigation department

Paulo Rebelo, an assistant national director of the Policia Judiciária (PJ), was appointed as the head of the Madeleine McCann investigation on 08/10/07, following the removal of Goncalo Amaral.

Officially his new role is the chief of the PJ criminal investigation department based in Portimão, which covers Praia da Luz.

Rebelo made his career at the Central Directory for the Investigation of Drug Trafficking before being appointed one of four associate directors last year.

He was head of the criminal investigation department in Lisbon which uncovered the notorious 'Casa Pia' paedophile ring in 2002.

Other high profile cases include the 'Mea-Culpa' investigation into the death of 13 people in an arson attack. He headed the 'Freeport case' in which a PJ officer was convicted of leaking details of a corruption investigation on the eve of the last parliamentary elections.

Rebelo is said to be highly regarded. Colleagues say he is nice and a good communicator.

He is close to the PJ’s national director, Alipio Ribeiro, who removed the previous head of the inquiry, Gonçalo Amaral, on 03/10/07.

Mr Rebelo will have to find a new deputy as Tavares Almeida has applied for unpaid leave and says he wants to leave the investigation.

(Information from TimesOnline 10/10/07)
President of ASFIC, the national union of the criminal investigators
Carlos Anjos
Carlos Anjos
Carlos Anjos, the president of ASFIC, the national union of the criminal investigators, has previously joined Gonçalo Amaral in making critical comments about the McCann's.

Interviewed by Diário de Notícias, he accused Gerry McCann of "negligence" when he claimed that Madeleine’s abductor was hiding in their holiday apartment.

"If he was suspicious that there was a man in the apartment, and then he calmly went to dinner, then words cannot describe how negligent he is as a father", adding "Since their daughter disappeared, Gerry and Kate have followed a strategy of almost daily announcements of new facts."
In response, Clarence Mitchell, the McCann's spokesman, said Gerry McCanns' fears came to him only after Madeleine’s abduction and Mr Anjos had "totally misunderstood" what he said. He told the UK's Daily Telegraph: "This was in the original witness statement. There is nothing that has come out recently that should be of surprise to the officers."
It was Carlos Anjos who said that detectives had advised Kate and Gerry McCann against their media campaign. They had also warned the couple against drawing attention to Madeleine's distinctive right eye, saying that it could have put her life in greater danger.
Portuguese investigators arrive in UK 28 November 2007
Portuguese investigators arrive in England
Portuguese investigators arrive in UK 28 November 2007:

(from left) Luis Viriato, Francisco Corte-Real, Ricardo Paiva and Fernando Viegas.

The four-strong Portuguese team met five experts from the FSS at Leicestershire Police headquarters on 29 November 2007 to review and interpret the DNA results.

The team was led by Francisco Corte-Real, the vice-president of the National Pathology Institute. With him were Det Insp Ricardo Paiva and police scientists Fernando Viegas and Louis Viriato.

Those who have left the investigation

National director of the Policia Judiciaria
Alipio Ribeiro
Alípio Ribeiro
Alípio Ribeiro was the previous head of the Policia Judiciaria in Portugal.
On 21/10/07 he was interviewed by El Pais:
Asked about the leaks from the Portugese police:

"There has been, without doubt, but less than it would appear. The imagination of journalists has also worked hard. What is certain is that the police must have serenity to separate history, fantasy, as police. We can not get carried away with emotion, we must keep open all scenarios and walk step by step."

He confirms that the paedophile abduction theory came from the McCanns.

Asked about the McCanns' publicity campaign:

"First, we have never had insufficient means in this case, although it is true that excessive international concern has multiplied alleged sightings of the girl and red herrings to a level that would have been too high for any police of the world. Secondly, we still do not know the truth, so I could not make moral judgments on that campaign. I have no results yet, I do not know what happened that night."

Asked about the British press coverage:

"And it must be understood that the British press works that way. They said unjust things, but we could not react to this day, get to play ping pong, the Judicial Police against the British press. That game does not interest us."
Chief of the Policia Judiciaria criminal investigation department
Goncalo Amaral, Photo: LUÍS FORRA/Lusa
Photo: LUÍS FORRA/Lusa

Gonçalo Amaral
Chief of the Policia Judiciaria criminal investigation department (03 May 2007 - 02 October 2007)
Gonçalo Amaral, the police coordinator leading the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, was removed from his position on 02 October 2007. The decision was made after British newspapers printed several controversial statements, which were given 'off the record', on the Madeleine case.

Amaral, who had headed the investigation since the early days and who was also the head of the Portimão Office of the Polícia Judiciária (PJ), was relieved of his duties by a direct order from Alípio Ribeiro, the national chief of the PJ.

Questioned by journalists, Ribeiro said: "I ordered the end of Gonçalo Amaral’s service in Portimão and it seems to me that the reason why I gave that order is obvious."
Gonçalo Amaral had said that by following the couple's tips, the British investigators were continuously "forgetting the fact that they are prime suspects of their daughter’s death," adding that the kidnapping scenario now being explored was nothing more than "another fact worked by the McCanns."
Official Policia Judiciaria spokesperson
Olegario de Sousa
Olegario de Sousa
Official Policia Judiciaria spokesperson
Chief Inspector, Olegário de Sousa became the most public face of the PJ, during Kate and Gerry's time in Portugal, through his role as official PJ spokesperson.
He was reported, by Martin Brunt from Sky News, to have quit the investigation in disgust, on 15/09/07, at the way Kate and Gerry McCann had been treated.
However, he told Gazeta Digital on 17 September that he denied those accusations: "Mr Martin Brunt's story about my alleged resignation is completely false"

"The last time I talked with Mr. Martin Brunt was on September 11, the day when Mr. Martin Brunt had another utterly false story, about a 100% DNA match being found, by Police, on the McCanns' hired car. On that day, before he put that false story on the air, we talked, around 7.00 pm, and he didn't asked me any question about DNA, that subject wasn't even mentioned."

Director of the PJ in Faro: Guilhermino Encarnação

Guilhermino Encarnação
Guilhermino Encarnação

Director of the PJ in Faro: Guilhermino Encarnação

Guilhermino Encarnação

Guilhermino Encarnação
"There is evidence of a kidnapping. In Portugal, according to the law, kidnapping can be for ransom or can be if someone holds a person for sexual abuse. We believe that she is still alive and is still in the country. She is probably in the Algarve." - 05 May 2007

We have evidence indicating a kidnap - Police chief in Portugal yesterday, 06 May 2007
We have evidence indicating a kidnap - Police chief in Portugal yesterday Sunday Mail
By Lynn Mcpherson in Praia da Luz
May 6 2007
Detectives hunting little Maddie say she was snatched from her bed
FEARS that a British girl missing in Portugal had been abducted escalated yesterday as police said they had evidence and a suspect.
Madeleine McCann, three, disappeared from her apartment on the Algarve on Thursday night, while her parents ate at a restaurant 150 yards away.
Her Scots dad Gerry and mum Kate had locked sleeping Maddie and twins Amelie and Sean in their bedroom.
Last night Faro police chief Guilhermino Encarnacao said: "We have evidence which indicates a kidnap."
He said they had a suspect and believed Maddie was alive and within three miles of the resort in Praia da Luz.
She had been on holiday at the Mark Warner's Ocean Club with her doctor parents Gerry and Kate and their two-year-old twins.
Encarnacao said police had "a profile" for a suspect but declined to give details "to safeguard the child's life".
He denied police had been slow to respond to the suspected abduction - getting to the scene within 10 minutes of the alarm being raised.
Around 150 agents are investigating in Portugal and they are in contact with British police, Europol and Interpol.
Police had received 30,000 telephone calls after Maddie was reported missing.
Maddie's mum and dad - who met in Glasgow - made an emotional appeal late on Friday night at the luxury resort 120 miles south of Lisbon.
The couple, who live in Leicestershire, urged anyone with information to contact police as intensive searches around the resort continued.
Gerry, 38, said: "Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister.
"We cannot describe the anguish and despair we are feeling as parents of our beautiful daughter Madeleine.
"We request that anyone with any information relating to Madeleine's disappearance, no matter how trivial, contact the Portuguese police and help us get her back safely."
Relatives of the McCanns travelled from Glasgow to Manchester early yesterday to fly to the Algarve and offer support to Maddie's parents.
She went missing as they dined while taking turns to check on their children.
The Ocean Club resort has a creche service but the couple had left the kids sleeping in their apartment.
Heart surgeon Gerry checked on them about 9pm. When his wife looked in about half an hour later, Maddie was gone.
She found the bedroom's outside shutter had been opened - fuelling fears someone had taken the girl.
The McCanns, who are on holiday with a number of other families, were joined by tourists, hotel staff and police as they searched in vain through the night. Sniffer dogs are said to have lost Maddie's scent at a supermarket 400 yards away.
Posters in English and Portuguese were put up around the resort and pictures of Maddie have been been distributed. Ports and airports were on alert.
The family's original holiday apartment was being treated as a crime scene and police were running forensic tests.
Yesterday, Gerry returned to the apartment alone. He left carrying a suitcase and a bucket and spade. After leaving the twins in the care of relatives, the shattered couple walked through the complex hand in hand.
They later had a meeting with British ambassador John Buck and three family liaison officers from Leicestershire police.
Earlier Madeleine's great aunt Nora defended the couple's decision to have a meal while their children were in the apartment.
She pointed out that it was clearly visible from the tapas restaurant where they dined. She said: "They are doctors. They are intelligent people."
Maddie's aunt Phil McCann told yesterday how she has already bought her niece a birthday present.
Maddie will be four on Saturday.
Phil, 43, from Ullapool, revealed she was "elated" that police believe Maddie is still alive.
She said: "She's a normal wee lassie, full of life. She's fascinated by pink like most wee girls. She's a real Barbie girl.
She's got a wee pink bike with pink ribbons. We were due to go and visit them this week until this happened.
"I bought her a Scooby Doo scooter for her birthday."
The last time Phil saw her was when 46 friends and family holidayed in Ireland at Easter.
She said: "She's just learned to swim from taking lessons and in Donegal, she had her water wings off for the first time. "She is a confident wee girl who is wary of strangers."

Portuguese cops' booze botch, 08 June 2007
Portuguese cops' booze botch The Sun

From LUCY HAGAN in Praia da Luz
Published: 08 Jun 2007

THE cop leading the Maddie hunt was blasted yesterday after he and two colleagues spent two hours boozing - at lunchtime.

Chief inspector Olegario Sousa downed wine and whisky with fellow Portuguese officers as a restaurant TV screened Maddie's anguished parents at a Berlin press conference.

A British snapper was ARRESTED after he spotted Wednesday's long lunch in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz, where Maddie vanished.

He was held at a police station for four hours and had his camera confiscated.

An onlooker told how Sousa - who has appeared on TV fronting the inquiry - relaxed with officers including detective Goncalo Amaral.

The witness said: "When I left, one was still slumped in his chair."

Asked whether it was acceptable for cops to drink wine and whisky at lunch, Sousa insisted yesterday: "It is my free time. What does it have to do with you what I drink or what I eat?

"I drink what I want to drink when I can drink. Have you seen anyone drunk? Have you seen any action deterred by that?"

The missing girl's aunt Philomena said: "If it were detectives from Scotland Yard there would be absolute uproar."

McCann evidence sent to judge, 11 September 2007
McCann evidence sent to judge Breaking
The evidence against missing Madeleine McCann’s parents was today passed to a Portuguese judge – who could in theory bring charges against them within days.
Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses, a public prosecutor based in Portimao in the Algarve, ruled that police files should go before a criminal instructional judge.
This could mean that the prosecutor is recommending charging Kate and Gerry McCann over their daughter’s disappearance, although a Portuguese lawyer said this would be unusual.
"It wouldn't be normal unless he had already prepared the case," Artur Rego said.
It is more likely that Mr Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses wants to carry out fresh searches, conduct more interviews, or impose stricter bail conditions.
The judge has 10 days to decide whether to agree to the prosecutor's request.
In another development, the Portuguese attorney general, Fernando Jose Pinto Monterio, announced tonight that he was appointing a second public prosecutor to the case, Portugal's Lusa news agency reported.
Luis Bilro Verao, from the Evora district in central Portugal, will work with Mr Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses.
Mr and Mrs McCann were declared "arguidos", or formal suspects, in the case during police questioning in Portimao on Friday.
At present they are only subject to the minimum TIR – "term of identity and residence" – restrictions.
These are automatically applied to an arguido under Portuguese law, and require them to give police their address and notify officers if they are away from home for more than five days.
This is why the McCanns were able to return to Rothley, Leicestershire, with their two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie, on Sunday.
If the prosecutor wanted to bring charges, he would have to produce a formal report for the judge laying out the accusation, the evidence and the motive, Mr Rego said.
The judge would then decide within 10 days whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed.
Mr McCann's sister, Philomena McCann, said the handing of the files to the judge changed nothing as far as her family was concerned.
"That was expected – it doesn't change a thing," she said.
"We will have to wait and see if they are bringing charges or not."
Ms McCann, based in Ullapool, north-west Scotland, added: "If they bring charges against Kate and Gerry that will give them a chance to clear their name.
"It will give us a chance to end all this speculation."
The file on the case runs to over 1,000 pages, police spokesman Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa said.
Intense attention focused today on what exactly Portuguese police found in the hire car rented by Madeleine parents 25 days after she went missing.
Detectives denied reports that forensic tests on a sample taken from the vehicle, a silver Renault Scenic, had revealed a "100% match" with the missing girl's DNA.
Mr Sousa said: "That's not true. Even specialists have said there is no 100% in anything."
But senior sources linked to the investigation told Portuguese journalists they discovered "bodily fluids" – not blood – with an 88% match to Madeleine's genetic profile in the car's boot.
Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39, spent their second full day back in Britain at home with the twins.

Madeleine McCann: 4,000-page file 'could take weeks to read', 13 September 2007
Madeleine McCann: 4,000-page file 'could take weeks to read' Telegraph
The dossier of evidence against Madeleine McCann's parents is 4,000 pages long and could take the judge it has been passed to weeks to read, a family friend has said.
Police in Portugal are said to be confident that charges will soon be brought against Kate and Gerry McCann after public prosecutor Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses yesterday ordered the file to be handed over.
Detectives believe they have enough material to justify charging one or both parents with the "accidental" killing of their four-year-old daughter Madeleine and presented their findings to a public prosecutor in Portimao.
In the latest twist, the prosecutor almost immediately passed the file to an "instructional judge" to seek approval for any further action to be taken. This could include charges being brought, or may simply be a request for further searches or more interviews.
A friend of the McCanns, citing a number of legal sources, said the family had been advised that the prosecutor is probably either seeking further guidance from the judge or applying for the authority to carry out more searches.
"It's hardly surprising for the prosecutor to want to push a hot potato upwards," the friend added. "If you were in their shoes, you would want to get those papers away as quickly as possible.
The friend said: "Our understanding is there's no filtering process whatsoever - everything is in there. The judge has had the kitchen sink thrown at him."
The friend said it is likely it will take the judge some time to read the lengthy dossier, adding: "It might not be just days.
"If they're expecting the judge to go through every sheet of those 10 lever arch files, he's not going to be able to do that in a day - particularly if it happens to be something like 4,000 pages."
Legal experts said the judge is likely to make his decision within 10 days.
A source close to the inquiry said: "The police are confident they have shown the McCanns have a case to answer and they believe charges will now follow."
The McCann family remained defiant, with Gerry's sister Philomena saying that if the couple are charged "it will give them the chance to clear their name".
In other developments:
• Police prepared to dig up recently-laid roads in the resort town of Praia da Luz to search for Madeleine's body.

• A "substantial amount" of Madeleine's hair was said to have been found in the boot of the McCanns' hire car.

• Sources claimed that forensic evidence pointed to Madeleine's body being hidden in the car's spare wheel well.

• Gerry McCann said his and his wife's suffering was "beyond description".

The public prosecutor, Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses, may already have decided if the McCanns have a case to answer.

A Portuguese lawyer, Artur Rego, said the speed with which Mr Meneses had passed the 10-volume dossier to the judge made it unlikely that he had recommended charges at this stage.

But, he said, the prosecutor may have prepared the case in advance and was waiting for the final papers before making his recommendations."

It appears increasingly likely that any case is likely to hinge on forensic evidence allegedly found in a Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns 25 days after Madeleine's disappearance.

It was claimed that a large quantity of Madeleine's hair was found under the boot liner, next to the spare wheel, leading police to believe that her body may have been hidden there.

The amount of hair was said to be sufficient to convince police that it could only have got there directly from Madeleine's body, rather than by "secondary transfer" from her clothes or Cuddle Cat toy.

Bodily fluids said to have been found in the car showed signs of decomposition, it is alleged, leading police to believe that Madeleine is dead.

There were also reports that toxicology tests on the samples in the car may have led to the suspicion that Madeleine was drugged and speculation that she may have been accidentally given an overdose of a sedative.

As official suspects, the McCanns are prevented by Portuguese law from speaking out in their own defence but have dismissed as "ludicrous" the suggestion that they could be to blame for Madeleine's disappearance.

Their supporters have pointed out that they had neither the motive nor the opportunity to kill Madeleine or hide her body. They say that the police hypothesis that they hid her body for 25 days before transporting it in the car under the noses of the world's media is plainly impossible.

Portuguese police are understood to have eliminated as suspects every other driver who hired the Renault between May 3 and May 28, when the McCanns rented it from Budget.

Writing on his internet blog on the Find Madeleine campaign's website, Gerry McCann said: "The pain and turmoil we have experienced in this last week is totally beyond description. Kate and I are totally 100 per cent confident in each other's innocence and our family and friends have rallied round unflinchingly to support us."

Police in Praia da Luz said they had been put on standby to dig up roadworks filled in shortly after Madeleine went missing as part of a fresh search for a body.

Several roads within a short walk of the McCanns' Ocean Club apartment had been dug up at the time of their holiday. When Madeleine vanished there was speculation that she could have wandered off and fallen into a hole, or that an abductor could have disposed of her body in the roadworks.

The McCanns spent the day at home in Rothley, Leics, choosing not to attend a service at their local Catholic church in which prayers were said for Madeleine.

New prosecutor orders focus/pressure on the McCanns friends, 17 September 2007
New prosecutor orders focus/pressure on the McCanns friends Jornal de Noticias
A new interrogation of Kate and Gerry McCann will take place only after all the tests are done at the forensic lab in Birmingham.

This firm decision was taken last Friday after a meeting between the PJ, Magalhaes Meneses the Chief Prosecutor of the case and a new person, Joao Melchior Gomes, 59 years, who will supervise the process.

At the meeting it was decided to confirm the next step – the PJ want to once more interview the friends and family of the McCanns who were at the Algarve. Besides clarifying contradictions, the purpose is to try and break the "pact of silence" of the group which has prevented an exact reconstruction of the events of that night. This will be the basis of the formal request that will be sent to the English authorities.

At this point, according to the newspaper JN, there will be no further questioning of the McCanns as there seems to be no use in once more asking them the same questions which they already refused to answer. They were shown the results of the tests and asked several questions which they opted not to answer and were made arguidos (formal suspects). The level of the restrictions regarding residence etc. will continue to be maintained.

The investigation strategy will now focus on breaking the pact of silence. The questioning will be done by the British Police.

No new evidence on Madeleine McCann's parents, says Portuguese prosecutor, 20 September 2007
No new evidence on Madeleine McCann's parents, says Portuguese prosecutor Timesonline
The police case against Kate and Gerry McCann suffered a severe setback last night when a Portuguese prosecutor said that no new evidence had been gathered to justify reinterviewing the couple.
Luis Bilro Verão, the lead public prosecutor, said that the police had failed to produce new evidence against the couple during the 13 days since they were made official suspects in the death of their daughter.
In his first official statement, he said that the McCanns remained arguidos, or official suspects, and that the investigation against them continued. He offered new hope to the McCanns by stating that all lines of inquiry were being investigated.
The admission comes as the McCanns said that they feared that they were being bugged as part of the investigation. They also believe that the scientific evidence against them is deeply flawed.
Mr Verão said: "Since the police have not collected any elements of proof after the parents became arguidos on September 7 that justifies any new actions, I have not requested any new interviews."
Last night's statement follows a review of the evidence by Judge Pedro Daniel dos Anjos Frias, who had been asked to approve new interviews and searches requested by the PolÍcia Judiciária, the Portuguese equivalent of the CID. Detectives wanted to reinterview the couple after they refused to answer 40 key questions.
The Portuguese police case was so weak at the time the couple were made official suspects that they had to be released on the lowest form of bail and were allowed to return home to Rothley, Leicestershire, two days later.
Detectives hoped that samples taken from the couple's hire car and holiday apartment would prove that Mr and Mrs McCann were responsible for accidentally killing their daughter while on holiday in Praia da Luz 140 days ago. However, Mr Verão has indicated that the evidence remains too weak to charge the couple with accidental homicide and hiding the corpse of their daughter. He could authorise further questioning if new evidence is found.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, said: "This information has been conveyed to Kate and Gerry directly. It is now for their Portuguese lawyer to assess very carefully but, on the face of it, it does appear encouraging."
Mr and Mrs McCann were convinced that their calls were tapped in Portugal because questions asked by detectives focused on private conversations with friends and family.
But the couple now believe that their calls are still being recorded as part of a surveillance operation.
"British police warned Kate and Gerry when they were in Portugal that their phones and e-mails might have been tapped into," a source said last night. "Everyone involved is careful, particularly with their mobile phone calls and what they say. There was an assumption from the early days that mobile communications are unsafe and could be listened to.
"Gerry will often refuse to talk on a mobile phone. He prefers to use land-lines as he considers them safer. That is based on information that they have received during the investigation. It makes them feel really awkward in their own home. They feel they are being watched at all times."
The source added that this did not suggest that their conversations were in any way furtive as a result. "They are entirely innocent and have nothing whatsoever to hide."
The couple have, however, decided to avoid talking over the phone about how they would clear their names if charged by the police, fearing that it would give the Portuguese an unfair advantage.
Some of the McCanns' friends who were with them on holiday in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance in May have also been told that they may be being bugged.
Portuguese detectives would have to file a mutual legal assistance request with the Home Office if they wanted phone calls to be bugged in Britain. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, would have to sanction an application, which would be carried out by British authorities.
Neither the Home Office nor Leicestershire Constabulary would comment yesterday on whether any request had been received or put in place. A spokesman for the McCanns also refused to comment.
Under Portuguese law bugging telephones and computers is admissible evidence in court. The police are, however, required to get a judge's approval. If they were unable to get permission before fitting the devices, they can apply to the courts retrospectively.
It is understood that one of the first applications made by the PolÍcia Judiciária to the judge was a retrospective application to continue bugging the McCanns and to use information already gleaned from the surveillance operation in court.
One option open to the police would have been to fit the McCanns' car, hired 25 days after the child's disappearance, with a satellite tracking device. Detectives believe that the vehicle was used to dump the child's body after it had been concealed. The tracker would have pinpointed where the car was driven.
The bugging claim is the latest salvo in the increasingly acrimonious battle being played out in the media as the McCanns, who under Portuguese law cannot comment on the case, and the police, who are bound by the same restrictions, try to win over the public.
The couple's fears about their every move being monitored emerged as the Portuguese police were granted permission by the investigating judge to apply to Britain to search the McCanns' family home. Detectives believe that the couple flew back with vital evidence that could help the police to establish whether they had some involvement in the child's death.
Last night the McCanns insisted that there was an innocent explanation for sniffer dogs having detected the presence of human bodies in their Portuguese hire car. A source said that the Renault Mégane Scenic was used to ferry bags containing rotting meat and other rubbish to a nearby tip.
"There were not proper dustbins at the villa and as a result the family had to regularly transport their household waste including rotting food, rotting meat and soiled nappies to a communal disposal area," the source said.
"The vehicle was used as a rubbish lorry for the family, so there would potentially have been the scent of rotting flesh, excrement and urine. Who's to say that the nappy bag didn't leak?"
Madeleine's sandals are also believed to have been transported in the car, potentially allowing DNA from sweat to be transferred.
The source said that Kate and Gerry McCann's legal team were working in a vacuum trying to prepare any defence for the couple, because of a lack of information from the Portuguese authorities.
"There is a lack of communication right down the line to them. The defence team is having to draw up a case without knowing what the allegations are. Gerry asks, 'What have we been accused of?' He doesn't know and nor does anyone else."
The McCanns' efforts to fight police leaks about scientific evidence said to prove that they had some hand in their daughter's death saw the couple criticised yesterday by the English organisation analysing samples seized from the scene of Madeleine’s disappearance and the family hire car. The Forensic Science Service is frustrated that DNA examinations they have carried out for the Portuguese police were being rubbished by the publicity campaign launched by the McCanns.
The Birmingham company is due to hand over a new batch of DNA test results carried out on samples taken from Praia da Luz. They are due to arrive in Portugal in the next few days.
The tests are looking for traces of her DNA from material gathered around Praia da Luz, including alleged blood samples found in an apartment close to the one from where Madeleine disappeared on May 3.

Give McCanns closure, 25 September 2007
Give McCanns closure Daily Mirror
Kate and Gerry McCann are having to face the heartbreaking realisation they may only emerge from the shadow of suspicion if Madeleine's body is found.
A source close to their legal team said the couple were horrified by speculation that they may never get the chance to prove their innocence because Portuguese police will refuse to formally charge them without the discovery of a body.
He added: "It means they'll have this hanging over their heads. But that's unacceptable because they are innocent. Why should they have this stain on their characters?
"A body not being found is a worst-case scenario because nobody - least of all them - will ever know what's happened. The suggestion that they have to face justice or escape justice is loaded with assumptions of their guilt, which are simply untrue.
"Gerry has always said that the only thing that will ever make him happy is finding Madeleine. They have discussed often the possibility of her being found dead.
"Of course that would be a trauma of dreadful proportions for the family. But nevertheless at least it would give them a sense of being able to understand what has happened and why. And - to use that dreadful American word - a sense of closure."
And in Lisbon, the President of the Public Prosecution Service was echoing the view that charges were unlikely to be brought against the McCanns unless a body is found.
Antonio Cluny told the 24 Horas newspaper: "Without the little girl's body, everything is complicated.
"There have been cases in which it was possible to obtain a conviction without there being a victim but there were confessions. One cannot accuse a person of homicide without there being very strong evidence.
"In the Maddy case, there is no confession and, according to what has been made public, the evidence gathered up until now keeps all leads open - from abduction to homicide or at least to a simple accident."
The McCanns' legal source said Kate and Gerry, both 39, could face a year of nightmarish anxiety as the Portuguese inquiry into four-year-old Madeleine's disappearance grinds slowly on. Under local law, their status as official suspects can continue until May before it is reviewed.
It could then be extended for a further four months. During that time, police are not obliged to charge or exonerate the McCanns.
That means it could be next September before the husband and wife doctors see the threat of prosecution lifted.
The source said: "Kate and Gerry are in this for the long haul. They're not going to be cleared next week. This is a long, drawn-out legal process. They are assuming that this will go the full distance."
But he said the couple did not regret leaving the resort of Praia da Luz, where Madeleine vanished on May 3, to return home to Rothley, Leics, with two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie. He added: "They are surrounded by family, friends, their whole network of supporters. It means Sean and Amelie can have a relatively normal life.
"They are a lot more positive then they were two or three weeks ago when they were being questioned. They are working hard, they are focused on two points. Firstly, finding Madeleine and, secondly, clearing their names. In the middle of this is a family who are potentially facing bereavement but who are still in that awful position of not knowing what's happened to their daughter.
"They hope desperately the next phone call is from somebody saying, 'We've found her and she is OK.'
"Every day that passes could be a day closer to her body being found but, equally, it could be a day closer to her coming home. They are living through every parent's nightmare.
"And then to have this extra pressure heaped upon them, of it somehow being suggested they are responsible, when they know in their heart of hearts and can prove they didn't do anything like that - it's the worst situation times 10."
Detectives made Kate and Gerry suspects based on DNA evidence that was allegedly found in the boot of a car they hired weeks after Madeleine vanished. They subsequently admitted it was "not definitive".
It is believed in the next few days police will get further forensic reports from UK experts who analysed the evidence.
Without further developments, Kate and Gerry could be potentially charged with negligence.
But legal experts say that would probably fail as the McCanns claim they regularly checked on their children, who were left in their apartment while the couple ate with friends.
One criminologist said: "They say they left them sleeping and that they checked them regularly.
"If there was vigilance, there would be no intent. No parents control their kids' movements all day long. It would be a pointless accusation."
Yesterday, a source close to the McCanns denied ex-SAS men working for security firm Control Risks Group were "on the ground" in Portugal and Morocco conducting their own probe into Madeleine's disappearance.
But he confirmed CRG was advising the McCanns. He added: "It would be illegal for private investigations to be taking place in Portugal and nothing is being done that is illegal."
The source said "freelance" ex-servicemen were involved in the hunt for Madeleine. He added: "You wouldn't tangle with some of them. They're not pastry chefs, let's put it that way."

McCann murder case crumbling, 25 September 2007
McCann murder case crumbling The Australian
THE case against Kate and Gerry McCann for killing their daughter is failing after prosecutors said they won't convict without a body.
The development came as the McCann family said that they expected to spend a year fighting to clear their names and that they would rather Madeleine was found dead than be left in the "awful limbo" position of not knowing what fate had befallen her. It is also thought that former military personnel are engaged in a series of searches to find the missing four-year-old.
António Cluny, president of the Portuguese public prosecutors' service, said that it appeared that there was insufficient forensic evidence to prove that Madeline was killed by her parents.
His comments follow increasing reports in Portugal that samples taken from the McCanns' apartment and hire car are inconclusive. Last week a judge said police had failed to gather new evidence to justify reinterviewing Madeleine's parents.
Mr and Mrs McCann have insisted that any samples from Madeleine found in the Renault Scenic hired 25 days after her disappearance could have come from her clothes or belongings which were carried in the car.
Mr Cluny told the 24 Horas newspaper: "Without the little girl's body everything is extremely complicated. There have been cases where it has been possible to obtain a conviction without there being a victim, but there were confessions.
"One cannot accuse a person of homicide without there being very strong evidence. In the Maddie case there is no confession and according to what has been made public the evidence gathered up until now keeps all leads open, from abduction to homicide or at least to a simple accident."
He later added: "If we have a body our work is done for us, if we don’t we have to dig deeper and work harder."
When asked if it would be possible to secure a conviction, he said: "It is highly possible it is just harder. It will take longer and take more work." His comments will be a severe blow to senior officers in the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) who have briefed Portuguese journalists that they have compelling evidence that the McCanns accidentally killed their daughter before disposing of her body.
The PJ is reported to have been ordered by the public prosecutor to find Madeleine’s body or accept that Mr and Mrs McCann will not be charged. A Police source told 24 Horas: "It is currently our great priority and operations in that sense are being developed, although without results finding the body is fundamental to solving the case." The source said that the case against the McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, was "hanging by a thread".
A source close to the McCanns' legal team said today that they expected to remain arguidos for months to come. Portuguese law allows for the status of formal suspect to be extended for up to a year.
The source said: "The mood is that they're in this for the long haul. They're not going to be cleared next week, let's put it that way. They're assuming that this could go the full year. This is a long, drawn-out legal process."
The McCanns fear a "worst case scenario" of Madeleine's body never being found, a friend said. "If there is no body found and they are not charged and their arguido status falls away, then they'll have this hanging over their heads.
"But that's unacceptable because they are innocent. Why should they have this stain on their characters? It would be the worst case scenario because nobody, least of all them, will ever know what's happened.
"Of course Madeleine being found dead would be a trauma of dreadful proportions for the family. But nevertheless at least it would give them a sense of being able to understand what has happened and why, and to use that horrible American word, closure."
It is thought that former armed forces personnel are involved in the search for Madeleine in a number of countries. A source said that Control Risks Group, the private investigations firm, had been helping the McCanns since May in a pro bono advisory capacity, but did not have employees "on the ground".
The source said: "Who's to say that those helping are a formal group? Offers are there all the time. You wouldn't want to tangle with some of them. They’re not pastry chefs, let's put it that way."
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' spokesman, today gave a press conference in Rothley. He said: "They are a family facing possible bereavement. They hope desperately that the next phone call is 'We have found her and she's OK'. I am not naive but that is still a possibility.
"All I can say is that they are positive and they are working hard to find Madeleine and, secondly, to clearing their name. They know they are innocent, I know they are innocent. They did not harm, let alone kill, her.
"If you spent any time with them as a family you would know on a human level for one thing they haven't done it.
"The house is full of love for the children; they have not harmed Madeleine let alone killed her, let alone disposed of her. It is just laughable and time will prove me and everyone else who has supported them right, I assure you."
Inconclusive proof
What forensic evidence has been collected?

Dozens of samples were recovered from apartments used by the McCanns and another family at the Ocean Club resort. Police have also searched the McCanns' hire car. The material has been examined by the Forensic Science Service (FSS) in Birmingham

Is there enough evidence to convict Kate and Gerry McCann?

Portuguese detectives have been briefing the media since the middle of August that there was compelling evidence from hair, bodily fluids and blood. But in the past ten days the briefings have been more doubtful. A police source told 24 Horas newspaper yesterday: "There is no element which can definitively state that the body of the little girl was transported in that vehicle"

What does the FSS say about its results?

The laboratory was reported yesterday to have sent an e-mail to Portuguese police complaining that its findings had been "widely misused". The Mail on Sunday said that the FSS had criticised detectives for overplaying the results and leaking information – most of it inaccurate – to the Portuguese media

What do the British authorities say?

Leicestershire police say they are bound by the Portuguese laws of judicial secrecy and that releasing any information on the case could jeopardise their delicate working relationship with colleagues in Portugal

The rich list bankrolling the McCanns

Brian Kennedy Made £250 million from double glazing and home improvements and now owns Latium Group plastics and Sale Sharks rugby union team. Offered Latium’s in-house lawyer and is paying the McCanns' new official spokesman, Clarence Mitchell

Sir Richard Branson Contributed to rewards totalling £2.5 million after Madeleine's disappearance. Has spoken to the McCanns several times and this month donated £100,000 to a fund for their legal costs. "I trust them implicitly," he said. Is trying to encourage other wealthy people to contribute to the legal fund

Sir Philip Green The billionaire owner of TopShop and BHS lent the McCanns his private jet for their visit to meet the Pope. Known to have been annoyed when news of his involvement emerged and has refused to comment on his current involvement

John Geraghty A 68-year-old businessman from Leicestershire who now lives on the outskirts of Praia da Luz. Offered to store the McCanns' hire car so that they could commission independent forensic tests

Exclusive: Disgrace of Madeline cop, 30 September 2007
Sunday Mirror 30 September 2007
Exclusive: Disgrace of Madeline cop Sunday Mirror
Puffing on a cigarette and knocking back beers, the man leading the world's biggest missing child inquiry enjoys yet another long, boozy lunch.
Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral worked as little as four-and-a--half hours a day this week - despite a mountain of uninvestigated sightings of Madeleine McCann on his desk.
The Sunday Mirror has discovered that 252 possible tip-offs about the four-year-old have been reported to Amaral, any one of which might just lead to her being traced. But the vast majority have not even been checked.
Amaral, in charge of a squad of 30 detectives, has convinced himself she is dead, despite having no evidence for it.
And since the return from Portugal of Kate and Gerry McCann and most of the media covering the case, many in his squad have had their feet up, their main role seemingly to provide drinking companions for their boss.
The McCanns, who cling to the hope of getting Madeleine back, will be appalled that the inquiry - supposedly still running at full-steam - has effectively stopped amid a welter of boozy lunch breaks.
A source close to the family said: "It is devastating for them to know leads are not being chased up. They always feared that once they left Portugal, the inquiry would peter out."
On Wednesday, when the world was praying that a little girl seen in Morocco may be Madeleine, Amaral and his team seemed utterly uninterested and left it to the British media to establish it was a false alarm.
He instead enjoyed a twohour 10 minute lunch washed down with wine. The next day was a similar tale - lunch lasted two-and-a-half hours. And on Friday he was gone for more than three.
Even more appallingly, while Kate and Gerry have been warned they face a year in jail for discussing the case, Amaral was overheard in a cafe brazenly accusing them of killing Madeleine.
In a conversation with a Portuguese racing driver, he was heard saying he was sure the little girl was dead even though there's no final proof that she is. He told ex-F1 star Pedro Lamy he believed the McCanns drugged Madeleine to keep her quiet and accidentally killed her.
Amaral said: "The police case is we are sure the parents kiled Madeleine. They are both doctors and know about drugs. We are confident in our case." One of the group outrageously chipped in how he believed the couple could have taken cocaine on the night Madeleine disappeared.
The conversation was a flagrant breach of the judicial secrecy rules which prevent Kate and Gerry from defending themselves against police leaks. Amaral, his beer belly spilling over his baggy jeans and a creased shirt unbuttoned to reveal a gold medallion, looked more like a holidaymaker than a detective in charge of a case which today enters its 150th day.
Only last week Antonio Cluny, president of Portugal's public prosecutors service, said the search for Madeleine's body was a huge priority for the police. Until it is found, he said, prosecutors had to consider the possibility that almost anything could have happened to the girl and they could not rely on the police theory that Kate and Gerry were responsible for her death. He said: "Without the little girl's body, everything is extremely complicated."
Amaral, who is himself under investigation for allegedly helping to cover up a police beating carried out to extract a confession from the mother of another missing girl, is the regional head of the Policia Judiciaria, or PJ for short.
The Carvi fish restaurant where he spends hundreds of pounds a week is a few minutes' walk from PJ headquarters in the seaside town of Portimao.
The Sunday Mirror watched as Amaral and colleagues tucked into a series of fish dishes, washed down with lager and white wine.
His longest session, which lasted three hours and 10 minutes, was on Friday afternoon. It meant he could not have carried out more than four-and-a-half hours of work all day. Amaral, 47, who has a young daughter, is No3 in the Madeleine inquiry, in charge of its day-to-day running. After one drinking spree this week, the moustachioed police chief got in his car and drove home.
The McCanns were questioned separately at the grim PJ building for up to 10 hours earlier this month when they became suspects in Madeleine's disappearance.
Kate was also told if she agreed to admit she had accidentally killed Madeleine she would receive a lighter sentence.
The couple, now at home in Rothley, Leics, vehemently deny having anything to do with their daughter's disappearance. The McCanns' official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said last night: "Kate and Gerry want to cooperate with the Portuguese police and would hope that they and their resources are being deployed as effectively as possible at all times."
And writing in his regular internet blog this week Gerry McCann told of the rollercoaster ride they experienced this week after the false alarm in Morocco. He added: "Despite the disappointment, it is encouraging that people are still being vigilant and have not stopped looking for Madeleine. This is so incredibly important to us both."
Although not, it seems, to Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral.
1.15pm GO FOR LUNCH - 4.23pm BACK TO WORK

Wednesday: While the world hopes a young blonde girl seen in Morocco might be Madeleine, Amaral and his team have other priorities.

9.30am: Amaral arrives for work in his car wearing a beige jacket, jeans and a white shirt.

1.17pm: He casually strolls out of the police building and takes a leisurely stroll to the Carvi restaurant with his boss Guilhermino Encarnacao - dubbed Inspector Clueless - who is making a rare visit to the investigation.

Lunch: They share a bottle of wine white and two fish platters before heading back to the office at 3.27pm.

6.30pm: Amaral heads home.

Thursday: Amaral's boss has left town, meaning he can focus properly his lunch.

9.30am: He clocks on.

1.07pm: It's down tools time as he heads for lunch with a younger colleague.

1.15pm: They are joined by a Nancy Dell'Olio lookalike, who wears a figure-hugging black dress. The woman greets Amaral by patting him on the backside and ruffling his thinning hair.

1.20pm: The group move to Amaral's preferred secluded table. His first drink is a pinkcoloured fruit cordial but he's soon switching to a glass of Portuguese Sagres lager.

2.19pm: Amaral has a coughing fit which lasts more than three minutes. He splutters at the table, sipping water before picking up the bill for the £84 meal.

3.30pm: The woman leaves by herself and the men follow a few minutes' later.

6.13pm: Amaral emerges from the building with the colleague he went to lunch with. They return to the Carvi and sit watching the evening news on the TV.

6.48pm: The young man leaves after another beer. Amaral stays on, eating a couple of fish dishes.

9.55pm: After a few more beers, he heads back to his car and drives home.

Friday: 9.54am: Amaral pitches up for work even later than normal.

1.08pm: After fewer than three hours at his desk, he's off to pick up his daughter from school and brings her back to the Carvi with him.

1.15pm: He orders the first of at least four beers. He and his colleague also order a bottle of white wine while the little girl has a soft drink.

2.14pm: He takes his daughter back to the car. She is driven off and he is joined by two more friends and his racing driver friend. Amaral then has at least three more beers and a glass of wine.

4.23pm: It's nearly time to go home and, after splitting the bill and saying goodbye to his friend, Amaral and two of his colleagues slowly walk back to their office.

5.55pm: After just an hour and 32 minutes back at his desk, Amaral emerges into the bright afternoon sunlight carrying a white plastic bag and blue folder. He walks the short distance from his office to the underground car park.

6.10pm: After getting into his navy blue Volvo he heads for home, and the 148th day of the Madeleine hunt ends as it began - in a hive of inactivity.

PJ accuse English police of favouring the McCann couple, 02 October 2007
PJ accuse English police of favouring the McCann couple Diário de Notícias 
Thanks to 'Astro' for translation
"The British police have only been working on the issues that the McCann couple wants, and which are convenient to them." It was with an explosive and rebellious tone that the coordinator of the investigation into the Madeleine case, Gonçalo Amaral, commented in brief statements to DN the news that was published yesterday in several English newspapers. This news was about an anonymous email that was sent to Prince Charles' official site, which accuses an ex-employee of the Ocean Club of kidnapping the four-year-old girl, as an act of revenge against the resort's administration, after having been dismissed.

"That situation is completely set aside, and it has no credibility whatsoever for Portuguese police", the leader of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Portimao told DN, considering that his English colleagues "have been investigating leads and information that were created and worked by the McCanns, forgetting that the couple are suspected of the death of their daughter Madeleine".

"That story of a kidnapping for revenge is another fact that was worked by the McCanns", Gonçalo Amaral accused, stressing that the Ocean Club "is located in Praia da Luz and not in London, which means that everything that concerns the resort and its employees (present or former) was already, or is being, investigated by the Policia Judiciaria". "It's not an email, even less an anonymous one, which is easy to track, that is going to distract our investigation line", he said.

Gonçalo Amaral, before entering the CID in Portimao, was at the PJ's Directory in Faro, having been mainly responsible for fighting drug traffic.

The position of the coordinator of CID in Portimao comes to meet the statements that were made to DN by the president of the Union of Criminal Investigation Employees (ASFIC), Carlos Anjos, who accuses Gerry and Kate McCann of "trying to distract and confuse the investigation by announcing a new fact on a daily basis". For him, as DN could report, "the McCanns have launched a campaign to discredit the Portuguese police when it presented the theory of the girl's death, substituting that of an abduction, which was very convenient to them". "As long as the theory of the disappearance because of a suspected abduction subsisted, the PJ were very pleasant company for the couple. When things changed and the death theory emerged, there was a radical change in the stance of the McCanns, who by the way never helped or facilitated, since the beginning, the investigation".

In late August, early September, a few days before Gerry and Kate were constituted arguidos, for suspicions of the negligent death of their daughter Madeleine, a top member of staff of Judiciaria commented the following: "After buying ourselves a war with British media, we are now buying one with English police."

Over the last few weeks, the Policia Judiciaria has been silent, which was helped by the fact that the spokesman of this force for that case, Olegario Sousa, has left that function, which he occupied since the child's disappearance.

Goncalo Amaral launches attack on British police, 02 October 2007
Goncalo Amaral
Goncalo Amaral

Madeleine cop launches attack on British police Daily Mirror
By 2/10/2007
A rift between Portuguese and British police over the Madeleine McCann case erupted today when the detective in charge of the investigation in Portugal launched an astonishing attack on British officers.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral accused British officers of only following lines of inquiry suggested by Kate and Gerry McCann and ignoring the fact that the couple are official suspects in the case.
"British police have only worked on what the McCann couple want them to work on," said Mr Amaral.
He seemed particularly angered that Leicestershire police were following a tip emailed to Prince Charles's official website suggesting that a disgruntled maid, working at the Ocean Club apartment complex, which is where Madeleine vanished, may have kidnapped her
He told respected Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias: "The lead has no credibility for the Portuguese police.
"(British police) have come to investigate tips and information developed and worked on by the McCanns, forgetting that the couple are suspected of the death of their daughter Madeleine.
"This story about kidnapping for revenge is another lead worked on by the McCanns."
Portuguese police union chief Carlos Anjos also said he believed the McCanns had deliberately distracted the investigation.
He said: "I think the campaign they have been conducting is wrong. It seems that with their new spokesman, their sole objective is to create a new fact each day.
"It's laughable."

Officer leading hunt for Madeleine 'enjoys boozy lunches and half days', 02 October 2007
Officer leading hunt for Madeleine 'enjoys boozy lunches and half days' Daily Mail
Last updated at 08:53 02 October 2007 
Portuguese police have again come under fire for their laid back and unprofessional attitude in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.
The man leading the world's biggest missing child inquiry, Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral, is working as little as four-and-a-half hours a day.
And he has been enjoying boozy lunches- despite a mountain of uninvestigated sightings of Madeleine McCann.
According to the Sunday Mirror newspaper there have been 252 possible tip-offs about the little girl's whereabouts - but the vast majority have yet to be checked.
It has also been reported that he was overheard in a cafe brazenly accusing the McCanns of killing Madeleine.
The conversation was a breach of the judicial secrecy rules which prevent Kate and Gerry from defending themselves against police leaks.
Amaral is himself under investigation for allegedly helping to cover up a police beating carried out to extract a confession from the mother of another missing girl.
He strenuously denies covering up the alleged abuse said to have been carried out by three of his colleagues.
The investigations problem's increased when the official police spokesman in the Madeleine case quit over the way the McCanns were treated.
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa resigned in disgust at the way fellow officers were briefing "friendly" Portuguese journalists behind his back.
The couple, who have not returned home to Rothley, Leics, vehemently deny having anything to do with their daughter's disappearance.
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry want to cooperate with the Portuguese police and would hope that they and their resources are being deployed as effectively as possible at all times."

McCann lawyers to pass their defence dossier directly to prosecutor Luis Bilro Verao, 02 October 2007
Madeleine was drugged by her abductor, says her grandmother Daily Mail
It has also emerged that Mr and Mrs McCann are conducting a secret investigation which they hope will clear them by Christmas.
Their legal team has carried out its own interviews with every witness they can find to the events of May 3.
They will use the resulting evidence to demolish any accusations that the McCanns were involved in their four-yearold daughter's disappearance.
The lawyers will give their defence dossier directly to prosecutor Luis Bilro Verao.
They hope that Mr Verao will compare their evidence alongside that gathered by the Algarve police, and throw out the case.
A friend of the McCanns revealed that the couple are convinced they will soon be in the clear.
The friend said: "(The lawyers) will make a direct approach to the Portuguese prosecutor's office. They will say, 'This is what we have got. We advise you not to go any further'."
All the witnesses now back in Britain have given new interviews to the McCanns' lawyers.
They include all seven of the friends who went on holiday to Praia da Luz with the McCanns.
A source close to the legal team said: "The idea of carrying out an independent investigation is that if the Portuguese police claim one piece of evidence points one way, we can immediately use the same evidence to prove a different point."
The source added: "We are leaving no stone unturned on this one."

Cop demoted after McCanns outburst, 03 October 2007
Cop demoted after McCanns outburst Daily Mirror
Ryan Parry in Praia da Luz
The bungling Portuguese police chief running the Madeleine McCann probe was last night kicked off the case by furious bosses.
Officials demoted boozy chief inspector Goncalo Amaral after he launched an astonishing public attack on parents Kate and Gerry and British detectives.
The 48-year-old accused the McCanns of manipulating the investigation and claimed police here are pandering to the family.
His outburst angered bosses who decided it was the final straw in a series of embarrassing blunders during the investigation to find missing four-year-old Madeleine.
A Policia Judiciaria spokesman said: "Goncalo Amaral has been removed from the DIC (Portugal's CID) in Portimao and all the cases it is dealing with.
"We cannot make any comment on the reasons for his dismissal. But he did not resign, he was removed."
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "We are aware of what's happened and simply cannot comment.
"However Kate and Gerry have consistently said they are willing to co-operate with Portuguese authorities and will continue to do so, regardless of who is in charge of the hunt for Madeleine."
A source close to the family added: "Things like this are frankly just a distraction, what they want is for people to concentrate on the search for Madeleine.
"The most important thing is that the inquiry is led by someone who can do a professional and good job and help them find their daughter."
Amaral accused doctors Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, of distracting the investigation. And he said of Leicestershire detectives: "British police have only worked on what the McCanns want them to work on, and which is most convenient for them.
"They have only investigated tips and information developed and worked on for the McCanns, forgetting the couple are suspects in the death of their daughter."
But a source close to the couple, both 39, said: "It's wrong. Leicestershire police are not doing anything at Gerry and Kate's behest. They are there for liaison."
Amaral was number three in the investigation but in charge of running it on a day-to-day basis from Portimao.
He works as little as four and a half hours a day and takes boozy three-hour lunches despite a mountain of Madeleine leads to investigate.
The inspector also vented his anger that Leicestershire police were following a wild tip emailed to Prince Charles's website.
It suggested a disgruntled maid at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz where Madeleine vanished from on May 3 may have kidnapped her.
Amaral, who will be moved to Faro, ranted: "The lead has no credibility. This story about kidnapping for revenge is another lead worked on by the McCanns.
"Everything said by employees, current or former, has already been investigated by the Policia Judiciaria."
But the McCann family source said: "The lead was passed by Clarence House to the Met Police and they took it seriously because it was from a real woman and she had left the Ocean Club in bad circumstances."
Amaral has probed just two child murders in his 26-year career.
He is under investigation for allegedly helping cover up a police beating to extract a confession from Leonor Cipriano, 36, the mother of a missing girl.
She is serving 16 years for the murder of her eight-year-old daughter Joana, even though the body has never been found and she has retracted her statement.

Madeleine search in chaos after police chief is axed by fax, 03 October 2007
Madeleine search in chaos after police chief is axed by fax Daily Mail
Last updated at 12:13pm on 3rd October 2007
The Madeleine McCann investigation is in chaos today with Portuguese police yet to replace the sacked investigator in charge of the search for missing four-year-old.
Chief inspector Goncalo Amaral shrugged off his sacking today, saying: "A policeman does not limit himself to one case."
He was informed by fax he was being removed from the case and from his position as the head of Judicial Police in the Algarve town of Portimao.
A spokeswoman for the Judicial Police said: "Mr Amaral has been removed from his position. We do not yet know who will take over the day-to-day running of the Madeleine investigation."
Portuguese media claimed today the investigation has hit an impasse.
Friends of the McCanns feared Amaral's sacking would be a serious setback to the investigation.
"The Portuguese police are completely incompetent and things have got very nasty," one source told the Evening Standard.
"I'm pessimistic about the police refocusing the criminal investigation as a result of this departure. It will definitely slow the case down."
The national director of the Judicial Police acted swiftly after Amaral accused British police of helping Gerry and Kate McCann and "forgetting" they are suspects in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.
Alipio Ribeiro reportedly sent a brief fax to Amaral's office in Portimao on the detective's 48th birthday, reading: "Transfered to Faro for convenience of the service".
The McCanns today called for any new head of the investigation to refocus on finding their daughter.
The family's spokesman Clarence Mitchell told GMTV that Amaral's claims the McCanns were influencing the investigation were "ludicrous".
He added: "What they want now is whoever takes over to refocus the inquiry on to finding Madeleine."
The McCanns had always been happy to co-operate with the authorities, he added. "So in other words whoever takes over from Mr Amaral as head of the investigation, they will continue that co-operation ... including going back to Portugal for more interviews if necessary."
Asked if it was true the McCanns were identifiying lines of inquiry for the Leicestershire police, he replied: "Of course not, it's an absolutely ridiculous suggestion."
Mr Amaral was expected to report for duty today at the Judicial Police office in the city of Faro.
Contacted by a reporter from newspaper Jornal de Noticias, Mr Amaral said: "A policeman does not limit himself to one case. There is plenty of work still to be done."
Mr Amaral reportedly tried to argue that his comments criticising British police had been taken out of context.
He claimed his attack was not directed at British police, but rather at private investigators hired by Gerry and Kate McCann to investigate their daughter's disappearance, newspaper Correio da Manha reported.
But his bosses believe he broke strict secrecy rules imposed on the investigation.
He is also suspected of being behind many of the stories criticising Madeleine's parents in the Portuguese press, attributed to un-named sources.
But he was defended today by some fellow officers who believe he was sacked due to unfair pressure from the British media.
One police source told Correio da Manha: "He was the first victim, and he served as a scapegoat for the English."
Carlos Anjos, president of the Judicial Police Inspectors Union, said: "He was the victim of personal attacks by the British media which not only questioned his honour as a policeman, but also attacked him as a human being."
Mr Amaral had been criticised in the British press for enjoying long "boozy" lunches, working four-and-a-half hour days and allegedly failing to investigate many of the 252 tip-offs police have received on the case.
He was sacked after Portugal's Justice Minister Alberto Costa stepped into the row saying it was important "to concentrate on the job and not on the comments" made by Mr Amaral.
In an extraordinary rant published yesterday, the detective told daily newspaper Diario de Noticias: "British police have only worked on what the McCann couple want them to work on.
"The have only investigated tips and information developed and worked on for the McCanns, forgetting that the couple are suspects in the death of their daughter Madeleine."
Diario de Noticias said the detective's tone during the brief interview was "explosive and indignant".
Mr Amaral attacking British police's decision to investigate a lead on the Madeleine case emailed to Prince Charles's website.
The anonymous tip-off claimed Madeleine was abducted by a disgruntled former employee of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, where the McCanns were staying when Madeleine vanished on May 3, shortly before her fourth birthday.
Mr Amaral said the lead "has no credibility for the Portuguese police".
He added: "This story about abduction for revenge is another lead being worked on for the McCanns.
"The Ocean Club is in Praia da Luz, not London, which means everything said by employees, current or former, has already been investigated by the Policia Judiciaria.
"No email, above all an anonymous one, which is easy to discover where it was sent, is going to distract our line of investigation."
Mr Amaral had been the head of the Policia Judiciaria in Portimao for the past six years.
He has reportedly investigated only two child murders in his 26-year police career.
He is facing a criminal hearing for allegedly concealing evidence, after a woman jailed for the murder of her daughter claimed his officers tortured her into making a confession.
Leonor Cipriano, 36, claims she was forced to kneel on glass ashtrays with a bag over her head as police repeatedly hit her during almost 48 hours of questioning.
She is serving 16 years for the murder of her eight-year-old daughter Joana, even though the body has never been found and she has since retracted her statement.
Mr Amaral strenuously denies covering up the alleged abuse said to have been carried out by three of his colleagues.

Maddie cop, good riddance, 04 October 2007
Maddie cop, good riddance The Sun

Am-ateur ... Amaral, now busted down to inspector
Am-ateur ... Amaral, now busted down to inspector


Published: 04 Oct 2007
HE'S the crumpled copper who looks like a seedy character from a bad detective movie.
But to Madeleine McCann's family, tubby, hard-drinking police chief Goncalo Amaral is a real-life villain.
While supposedly hunting for a child-snatcher, the hapless plod was working as few as four-and-a-half hours a day.
It seems he spent most of that time conjuring up countless malicious explanations for Madeleine's disappearance.
His theory is that she died at the hands of parents Gerry and Kate.
The couple, from Rothley, Leics, will no doubt find a grim satisfaction in the news that Amaral has been removed from the case.
Most of all, they will hope his successor - when the Portuguese do get round to appointing one - can rally a demoralised force, break the case and find their daughter.
Amaral has been demoted a rank - down to inspector - and stripped of his role as regional head of the Policia Judiciaria (PJ).
The shock announcement came on his 48th birthday, after he accused British police of shielding the McCanns.
He had become an embarrassment to his government and once source said of his latest wild claim: "It was the straw that broke the camel's back."

Cop's cafe ... restaurant where Amaral spouted his nonsense
Cop's cafe ... restaurant where Amaral spouted his nonsense

Finding Madeleine alive was never a priority for Amaral after he became obsessed by the notion that Gerry and Kate had disposed of her body.
Amaral, in charge of a squad of 30 detectives, consistently refused to comment on his theories which still make the McCanns official suspects "arguidos" in the case.
He continually waved reporters away with a swing of his thick-set arm, citing Portugal's strict judicial secrecy rules for his silence. "No speak! No speak!" was his standard riposte.
Nor would he discuss the 252 possible tip-offs about Madeleine's disappearance — many of which had allegedly not been followed.
His colourful conjecture could regularly be heard at coffee shops and restaurants near Amaral's office in the seaside town of Portimao, 20 minutes from Praia de Luz, where the McCanns stayed.
The moustached detective could usually be found chugging coffee and scoffing cakes at the Kalahary cafe or lingering over lunch at Carvi. He preferred these establishments to the stuffy confines of his HQ, where the McCanns were recently questioned for ten hours.
Most days would see him swagger up to his favourite Carvi table wearing a creased white shirt, unbuttoned to the chest, where a gleaming gold cross dangled.
On one occasion, the dad-of-three was overheard hammering home his theories to Portuguese racing driver Pedro Lamy. He told him: "The police case is we are sure the parents killed Madeleine.
"They are both doctors and know about drugs. We are confident in our case."
On another occasion Amaral was at Carvi with the PJ spokesman Olegario Sousa. The McCanns were in Berlin and Amsterdam appealing for help in the hunt for Maddie and they were shown on the TV in the restaurant. The two men asked for the TV to be turned up before mocking the harried parents.
A booze-fuelled lunchtime, featuring white wine and his favourite Sagres lager, would often soon be followed by Amaral driving home in his blue Volvo.
Sources close to the investigation said his hackles were raised from the start by Mr and Mrs McCann's proactive approach to their daughter's disappearance.
One lawyer, who does not wish to be named, said: "Gerry is someone who clearly likes to get things done quickly and professionally.
"Amaral felt he was taking over, belittling him. It agitated him."
A PR war between the two camps erupted with Amaral leaking so-called "leads" to Portuguese newspapers. In particular, slurs on Kate McCann's character began to appear — she found her children "hyperactive" and hard to handle was a typical example.
Another source close to the investigation said: "It seems the main goal of the PJ now is to get a confession. It's like in the films, 'Aha, we have a confession, let's take them to court'. It’s normal to want a confession when they don't have much else."
The McCanns fought back with their own public relations team.
Amaral has been a controversial figure during the search for Madeleine.
Astonishingly, he was put in charge of the day-to-day running of the inquiry despite himself being an "arguido" — after being accused of helping to cover-up an alleged assault on the mother of another missing girl.
He is to face a criminal hearing for allegedly concealing evidence that three colleagues tortured Leonor Cipriano to make her confess that she murdered her daughter Joana, nine, who went missing from Portimao three years ago.
Cipriano is serving 16 years for killing Joana, even though no body was ever found and she soon retracted her statement.
Amaral was not present at the time of her alleged beating but is accused of covering up for his colleagues, which he denies. He has reportedly investigated only two child murders — even though his police career spans 26 years.
He joined in 1981 after leaving an engineering course at university in Coimbra.
He did courses in sociology, psychology, psychiatry and criminal investigation at police school in Lisbon. Then he studied law.
He had only been in the police three years when he went to work in Madrid where he had his first contact with Spanish police and worked in Spain on several occasions.
He rose to the rank of chief inspector in 1998. Previous investigations include the case of a man who kicked his daughter to death in the Azores — and the infamous Joana case.
In 2005 he based himself in Seville to investigate the murder of a Portuguese policeman.
Like the McCanns, he is a Catholic and can regularly be found reading the bible. He likes to quote it.
He will no doubt be seeking solace in those words this week as his career lies in tatters.

New cop gives McCanns renewed hope, 04 October 2007
New cop gives McCanns renewed hope Daily Mirror
By Ryan Parry in Praia Da Luz
Kate and Gerry McCann hope that bringing in a new police chief will give the hunt for Madeleine a new impetus.
And a source close to them said they were ready to fly back to Portugal to meet Goncalo Amaral's replacement if necessary.
They believe that the boozy chief inspector, kicked off the case after criticising them and British police, has hindered the hunt for their four-year-old daughter.
The source added: "We do hope that the change will re-energise and refocus the hunt for Madeleine.
"The new appointment will give the incoming police chief an opportunity to establish where the enquiry is and to move it on."
Amaral's replacement is expected to be appointed next week. He will be handpicked by Alipio Ribeiro, national director of the Judicial Police, and other senior officers.
It emerged last night that Amaral, 48, was sacked by Mr Ribeiro in a fax to his office. The curt message said: "Transferred to Faro for convenience of the service."
Justice minister Alberto Costa last night backed Amaral's removal.
He said: "It is an act of competence of the PJ national director of which I approve." A successor is not expected to be appointed this week because tomorrow is a public holiday in Portugal.
The McCanns' source said: "We would encourage the Portuguese authorities to fill the position as swiftly as possible, because Madeleine has still to be found"
A police spokeswoman explained: "The question of who is going to be head of the department is still unresolved. The national directors will nominate a candidate, and if that person agrees they will be made head of the department. We hope the decision-making process will be brief. There is no interview process, it is a case of the national directors choosing a candidate."
Amaral, who was third in command but ran the Madeleine inquiry on a day-to-day basis, yesterday reported for his new job at Faro police station.
The McCanns' supporters believe he hampered the case because he thinks Madeleine, missing since May 3, is dead. And he accused Gerry and Kate, both 39, of Rothley, Leics, of distracting the investigation and manipulating British police.
He said of Leicestershire detectives: "British police have only worked on what the McCanns want them to work on, and which is most convenient for them."
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell: "It's an absolutely ridiculous suggestion.
"It is a Portuguese-led inquiry and will remain so."
The McCanns believe that Amaral is behind many of the attacks on them in the Portuguese press.
But police union boss Carlos Anjos claimed Amaral had been made a scapegoat.
He said: "He was the victim of personal attacks by the British media which not only questioned his honour as a policeman, but also attacked him as a human being."
One police source told a local newspaper: "He was the first victim, and he served as a scapegoat for the English."
Amaral was in charge of 30 detectives. But he worked as little as four and a half hours a day, taking boozy three hour lunches.
He arrived prompt for his new job at 9am yesterday.
But he left at 12.30pm for a two hour lunch with deputy national police director Guilhermino Encarnacao, 59, who is working on the Madeleine case, and two colleagues.
Amaral yesterday shrugged off his dismissal.
He told a Portuguese newspaper: "A policeman does not limit himself to one case. There is plenty of work still to be done."
And Amaral, being investigated for allegedly helping cover up the police beating of a mother of a missing girl, said his comments were taken out of context.

McCanns deny new DNA link, 09 October 2007
McCanns deny new DNA link Daily Mirror
By Stewart McClean and Ryan Parry in Portimao
Police in Portugal stopped searching for Madeleine McCann three months ago, friends of parents Kate and Gerry claimed yesterday.
They said detectives decided resources would be better used trying to link the couple to their four-year-old daughter's disappearance.
The news emerged as the Portuguese press claimed the detective who interrogated Kate last month faces trial for allegedly torturing an innocent robbery suspect.
Chief Inspector Tavares Almeida is number two on the inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance and is the second top officer in the shambolic inquiry to be accused of violent treatment of suspects.
Disgraced case co-ordinator Goncalo Amaral, who was booted off the investigation last week, is fighting claims that he covered up the beating of another missing girl's mother.
Family friends said last night that Kate and Gerry believed the only serious work to trace Madeleine was being done by their own team of private investigators, working for the Find Madeleine campaign.
One said: "The feeling is that the search for Madeleine has definitely gone on hold from the moment that the police began to suspect Kate and Gerry.
"They are both very concerned about that.
"They have always cooperated fully with the police and their priority is to bring Madeleine home safely."
The McCann's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, confirmed the couple had employed private investigators to follow up possible leads outside Portugal. Mr Mitchell said: "All of the leads that have a degree of credibility about them and warrant further investigation are looked into.
"Anything being done by the campaign is done within the law, and the police are informed of every possible lead.
"We are not going to comment on the changing personnel in the case.
"But Kate and Gerry want to see whoever takes charge of the investigation moving it forward to find Madeleine.
"Kate and Gerry have nothing to hide."
A Portuguese newspaper reported yesterday that 48-year-old Almeida will face trial over allegations he beat up a rail worker suspected of being part of a gang who sexually assaulted children. The man was acquitted and lodged a formal complaint against detectives. Former British child protection officer Mark Williams-Thomas said: "It does seem strange to have put such people into such a high-profile investigation, which could cause questions to be asked.
"The focus should be on finding Madeleine, not on senior officers in the case."
Yesterday the McCanns again declared their innocence after claims that new DNA evidence linked them to their daughter's disappearance.
Meanwhile, the ongoing analysis of dozens of samples by the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham was said not to have substantially advanced the investigation.
Results are passed to Portugal police on a daily basis.
An insider said: "Madeleine and her parents are bound to be linked by DNA because they were together on the night she vanished. There has been no dramatic breakthrough."

El Pais interview with Alipio Ribeiro, 21 October 2007
INTERVIEW: ALIPIO RIBEIRO National director of the PT PJ
"The hypothesis that Madeleine died is the strongest"
MIGUEL MORA - Lisbon - 21/10/2007

The person responsible for the investigation of the "Madeleine case" tries to clarify the facts whilst under an unprecedented media pressure. Sooner or later the truth will be known, he affirms. And those responsible will be judged in Portugal.
How do you feel about directing such a media dominated case?
Well, it is certainly true that the case of Madeleine has surpassed the limits of pure police work, for very different reasons it has awoken great international interest and has been developed much further than its policing aspect. It has an enormous media source, which no policeman in the world has been able to control. But this has nothing to do with us, if it had happened in a few kilometres further away, in Spain, or in France, it would have been the same. The case has many elements that have fed media interest, there are many protagonists, it has been very public since the beginning and imagination has been lit up. … People create their version of the story and tell it, it seems as though all of us are suddenly criminal investigators.
Everyone except for you and the British police is talking. At least officially. Because there have been many filtrations and leaks.
There have been, without a doubt, but less than would appear. Journalist’s imagination has also worked intensively. What is certain is that the police must have the serenity to separate history and fantasy from the policing. We cannot let ourselves be carried away by emotion, we must maintain all open hypotheses and walk step by step.
Does this mean that there is still much to be done in order to reach a conclusion?
I am convinced that, sooner or later, we will have a result. I cannot say when. That would not be balanced on my part. But I am optimistic. The police by nature are optimistic, because they have to uncover mysteries, but they have to work without preconceived ideas and have an open mind to all possibilities.
But the first chief, Gonçalo Amaral, is certain that Madeleine died on the 3rd May.
That he was certain, I do not know, I think it is better not to have certainties in order not to have surprises. There is, in effect, a hypothesis that has gained some veracity and has greater strength, but we are not excluding anything. If there is a lead that says the girl has been sighted in some place, we must investigate it and eliminate it. Although, it is true that during the first phase, the investigation was directed almost exclusively to the abduction thesis.
Some people have criticised this option: There are scarcely no precedents of child abductions in Portugal and police literature does not take into account abductions from closed buildings because predators act in open areas.
It is true that there is very little tradition of this kind of abduction in Portugal, but we cannot eliminate this possibility. The parents are foreigners, and everything was analysed without discarding any means.
Was there any failure to investigate the parents from the very first moment, given that there were such confusing witness statements and that they were the last to see the girl?
It is easy to say that now.
Are you suggesting that there was pressure to give priority to the abduction theory?
We have never been pressured in any direction. Collaboration with the British police has always been loyal and respectful.
But it was the family group that suggested the paedophile abduction route...
Yes, but the British police have never interfered, they could not. It is obvious that if we need information the British police will provide it. As would the French, Spanish or any other European police force. But we lead the investigation.
As this is a British context, with British suspects and a British victim, it would be logical to think that more help would be provided.
It was a British context and we are far from having a precise idea of what happened that night. It is true to say that the context has made things very difficult. 

Have you had the feeling over the last months that you were fighting against a machinery that was too powerful for the means of the PJ?
I wouldn’t go as far as saying that. Firstly, we have never had insufficient means in this case, although it is certain that that the unreasonable international interest has multiplied the presumed sightings of the girl and the false leads to a level that would have been excessive for any police force in the world. Secondly, I am still not in possession of the truth, so I cannot make any moral opinions about this campaign. I do not have results yet, I do not know what happened that night.
Did the British police suggest bringing the dogs, which ended up turning the investigation around by 180º?
They proposed it, yes, because they are very rare animals that we do not have and of great reliability. Although they do not give conclusive proof, the dogs enable use to explore another line of investigation.
Do you think that this strange case will have a simple solution? Or do you believe that that will take new turns?
I have my ideas about this, but I cannot say anything about this. The only idea that I can transmit is that, whatever the meaning of what happened that night, it was a dramatic situation for those who experienced it.
You have said that this is a difficult case. Have you been critical of the PJ?
There are many missing children cases in the world and sometimes nothing is known about them for years. But none of these cases has this external component, this social glow that gives it a fantastic almost unreal dimension..Any police force would be uncomfortable in such a scenario, with this excess of public exposure. You have to have very tight nerves in order to be systematic in these conditions. Now we are going to give the investigation a new impulse and also analyse fearlessly what we have done, not to judge or to criticise, but to try to understand indications that we perhaps did not understand correctly at the time.
Did you ever imagine that you would become famous due to a case like this?
I will not become famous for this case. But I know the drama of the persons who have been close to it (he refers to Gonçalo Amaral). Therefore I know that wherever I go, even to far away places, everyone is talking about the case, it is always on the table.
Is the PJ’s prestige in doubt?
No, neither that of Portugal or the Policía Judicial is in doubt. People will not stop coming to the Algarve on holiday because of this. Neither will the country’s image change. But all police forces in the world would like to resolve a case like this and resolve it well.
Some people believe that the case will remain unsolved.
I hope to be able to close the case. We are not yet able to do so, but if we view the case from a distance, little time has passed. Many similar cases have taken longer and been resolved.. I think that this will also be the case here. We have an idea of what happened. I do not guarantee this, but I feel this will be the case.
As regards the sending of a new team of investigators from Lisbon, what meaning does this have?
In the initial moment we made a large human investment in the case in order to discard all the leads that kept arising. Then a team of a half a dozen investgators was put into place, a normal dimension for similar cases. Now we have added a new structure of reflection in order to analyse the fundamental issues once again. Many investigations change during their course because this tends to help them advance. In the US, the FBI frequently does this. . It helps to rethink, to see what was well evaluated, what was underestimated...
How many men do you now have working on the ground?
More than a dozen.
That would seem to be many.
This is not just any case: It was obvious from the first moment that this would not be an easy case.
Do you say this because of the immediate presence of journalists in Praia de Luz? Or because of the involvement of the Foreign Office in the parents’ campaign?
I have never felt any political pressure. And the British police have never been an obstacle. From the beginning they have been magnificent collaborators.
But the spokespersons for the McCanns have strongly criticised the work of the PJ.

Yes, but they talked with the family and the press, not with the police. And it must be understood that the British press also works in this way. They made unfair remarks but we cannot react to this on a daily basis and play ping pong, the PJ against the British press. We are not interested in this game: We have a different tradition to theirs, one of less communication and the judicial secrecy that restricts us.
Up until now, leaks have favoured speculations that the McCanns qualify as very suspicious. Do you not feel that the PJ should inform them officially instead of letting this information land in the press?
According to the new Procedural Code, all proceedings will be public and the secret will be the exception. This is a change of paradigm and we will have to improve our means of communication and mount a better press strategy. But even the best strategy in the world would not have been able to disprove this mixture of leaks and imagination. It is impossible to work with this. Only an American style crisis management cabinet could do this. But this is not created from one day to the next.
Will you take over the communications about the case?
I want to be close, but I cannot take this on. In cases such as these there is never much to say, so as not to prejudice the investigation. If speaking means to hinder, anything we volunteer could ignite the fire even further.
What will you do when the laboratory results arrive from Birmingham? In spite of the fact that everyone in the UK is already talking about them...
When they arrive we will ponder what we can and what we cannot say. Much contradictory information has come out, rumours and noise, but it is irrelevant. These are very complex analyses, they are difficult to carry out. I know that when the British police know the results, we will know then as well. And I also know that the Birmingham laboratory is one of the best in the world.
Amaral, the coordinator whom you took off the case for criticising the British police in a newspaper, thinks that the key to the case lies in the DNA analyses. Do you share the same faith?
They may be of much help, in a definitive sense, in order to clarify what happened. But there are no elements that on their own can resolve an investigation. The analyses are complementary to other elements. They must be viewed with serenity and distance. The police must be encouraged but not be passionate.
Last week Amaral updated Paulo Rebelo, the new chief sent from Lisbon about the case. Does this mean that Amaral will continue to help with the case?
Of course.
The McCanns already have a very sophisticated team of lawyers. Do you think that the PJ can mount a solid accusation?
We have already done a big job of analysing and discarding hundreds of tests and leads, but in all investigations there is a key moment, a click that clarifies everything and helps the end to be reached. We have not yet arrived at this click.
If there were to be trial, would this be in Portugal?
We would first need to define the facts and then those responsible. Of course, the trial should take place here, even without those accused. But this is a very distant question which we have not yet considered. And it does not mean that we think that those who are to be tried are British citizens.

Now Madeleine police turn to disgraced detective for help, 31 October 2007
Now Madeleine police turn to disgraced detective for help Daily Mail
Last updated at 13:28 31 October 2007 
Police are so far from solving the disappearance of Madeleine McCann that they have been forced to turn to the discredited detective sacked from the case.
Sources close to the inquiry said today the police "need a miracle" and are now re-evaluating all the original evidence gathered in the immediate aftermath of the four-year-old's disappearance almost six months ago.
Paulo Rebelo, the new head of the investigation, has had a series of meetings with Chief Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, who was thrown off the inquiry after launching an attack on Kate and Gerry McCann.
The men's most recent meeting was yesterday when they swapped notes on the case. They were joined by other officers from the Policia Judiciaria - Portugal's criminal investigation department - who have worked on the inquiry and the department's director Guilhermino Encarnaç"o.
A police source told Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas: "At the moment all the evidence that was collected by the original investigation team is being re-evaluated."
State prosecutor Magalhaes e Meneses has refrained from authorising detectives to travel to Britain to re-interview the McCanns and their friends, insisting they must wait for DNA test results from the British Forensic Science Service laboratory in Birmingham.
This week Mr Rebelo returned to the Ocean Club - the Mark Warner resort in Praia da Luz the McCanns were staying in - to speak to local witnesses at the tapas bar where the McCanns and their friends were having dinner when Madeleine vanished. It is the first time they have been spoken to since May, when they made formal statements.
His predecessor, Mr Amaral, is appearing before state prosecutors today over allegations he beat a confession out of a mother jailed for the murder of her missing eightyearold daughter.
Meanwhile a leading policing expert today warned that private detectives hired by the McCanns may be chasing the wrong leads, The family have hired Spanish detective agency Metodo 3 to help find their daughter missing Madeleine. But their theory that she was abducted by a paedophile gang who stole the child to order, shows a "distinct lack of understanding of paedophiles and how they work", criminal analyst Mark Williams-Thomas warned.
The boss of Metodo 3 has said he believes Madeleine was abducted by a care worker on the instruction of a paedophile gang and sold to a Moroccan family. He says a girl matching her description, has been spotted with a woman aged about 60 in the Rif mountains in the north of the country, by 10 different people.
But Mr Williams-Thomas who worked on the Sarah Payne murder inquiry and who was in Portugal during the first week after Madeleine went missing said: "Evidence from what we know about how paedophiles operate would suggest that if Madeleine was abducted by a predatory paedophile the likelihood of her surviving after first 48 hours, are very slim.
"But if she is alive - and we have to remain hopeful that she is given that we have no evidence to the contrary - she would not be out in the open and spotted by general members of the public. She would be hidden away.
"Even in these remote areas of Morocco, nobody could risk her being seen."

Expresso interview with Alipio Ribeiro, 17 November 2007
Alipio Ribeiro
"We still don't have a solution" Expresso
November 17 2007
Excerpt of an interview with Alípio Ribeiro, national director of Judiciary Police. Ribeiro was asked questions on a number of Policia Judiciaria issues - this is what he had to say about the "Maddie case".
Journalist: When you assumed the position in office (as a National director of PJ), you said that the Police should not be afraid of giving an account. Six months after the disappearance, what does the PJ know?

Alípio Ribeiro: The criminal investigation does not do miracles. The Public Prosecution Office knows what it's happening in the process. We keep on working, steadfastly, with the best persons.

At what point is the investigation?

At the moment there is nothing to say regarding the case. We are working well. The rest is a soap opera.

So, do you think that to work well is to have this case under a glass dome?

It's not a glass dome. What type of information can we give? We have this examination; the result is this, there take it! It cannot be. We are working in an extremely delicate issue, in which there are factors that we need preserving at all costs.

Do you maintain the expression that all leads are still open or do you by now have a distinct line of investigation?

In these cases we never close all the doors. Because there is always the surprise factor.

Is there agreement, that investigation has dismissed the hypothesis of the kidnapping?

No … we are assessing all the hypotheses. New informations are brought nearly every week.

Have you formed any definite idea about this case, in your mind?

I know the general lines. I might have an idea, but it is for me.

When are the arrests going to happen?

First we need to know what happened in the "Maddie case". I don't know whether there will be any arrests, yet.

What has the Judiciary Police learned from the "Maddie case"?

We knew that this process was going to be a complex one from the start. And in fact we have been learning a few things: to work with more self-restraint and serenity. We work better today than at the beginning of the investigation. We are sure of some perspectives of the investigation, but it is also true that we still don't have the story, the solution of the case. We have perspectives more consolidated on what took place.

Do you believe that in the future you will always be evaluated because of what happened in this case?

It’s obvious that the "media" always have a perspective of things that is focused on one person. It will go through that aspect in some amount. But I believe that won't be all.

Don't you think that the public deserved an explanation about the exit of Gonçalo Amaral?

Whatever I had to explain, I explained it personally to the coordinator.

Before or after you demoted him?


Sunday Mirror claims meetings between Amaral and Rebelo, 20 January 2008
262 days missing and... Maddy's blunder cop back on case Sunday Mirror 
EXCLUSIVE Cruel blow for Kate & Gerry
By Nick Owens And Grant Hodgson
The disgraced cop who was sacked from the Madeleine McCann inquiry is to RETURN to work on the case.
Lazy Goncalo Amaral - fired from the investigation after the Sunday Mirror exposed his long, boozy lunches - has held a string of meetings with new chief detective Paulo Rebelo.
And in a secret summit the pair have agreed he would be welcomed back on to the team responsible for finding out what happened to four-year-old Madeleine, who vanished 262 days ago.
The move will be a massive blow to parents Kate and Gerry.
Amaral, 47, was leading the team when the investigation dramatically switched to put the couple in the frame.
A source said: "This will feel like a step back for Kate and Gerry.
"Amaral and Rebelo have been meeting regularly after he was kicked off the case and they are constantly talking on the phone.
"They have swapped notes and discussed various leads at length. At times Amaral has been Rebelo's right-hand man. A lot of things that Rebelo has done since then has been on the advice of Amaral.
"The pair have become close and Rebelo thinks it will help having Amaral back as part of his team."
The source said Amaral, who has been working in Lisbon since his removal from the team, is desperate to return to Praia da Luz, the resort where Madeleine was taken.
The source added: "He really wants to work on the case again and has insisted he will be on his best behaviour and work hard."
The move to bring back Amar is a sure sign the current team of police looking for Madeleine are desperately short of leads.
It will be heartbreaking for 39-year-old doctors Kate and Gerry because sources close to the investigation believe Amaral quickly convinced himself - and colleagues - that their child was dead. Amaral was the main reason Kate and Gerry were named as suspects, despite there not being a shred of evidence that the couple were involved. He was eventually fired after launching a scathing attack on them in a Portuguese newspaper.
A Sunday Mirror investigation exposed Amaral's work on the case as incompetent and lazy.
Instead of leading his team of 30 detectives, the chief inspector often took long boozy lunches, sometimes spending three hours guzzling wine and beer in restaurants in Praia da Luz.
It meant he sometimes worked for just four-and-a-half hours a day on the case.
Amaral disgracefully ignored most of 252 tip-offs of possible sighting of Maddy because he was convinced she was dead.
In a conversation with a Portuguese racing driver, he was heard saying he was sure the girl was dead even though there was no indication that she was.
He told ex-Formula One star Pedro Lamy he believed the McCanns drugged Madeleine to keep her quiet, killing her accidentally.
Amaral reportedly said: "The police case is we are sure the parents killed Madeleine. They are doctors and know about drugs. We are confident in our case."
One of the group involved in the conversation even said he believed the couple could have taken cocaine on the night Madeleine disappeared.
The conversation was a flagrant breach of judicial secrecy rules which have stopped Kate and Gerry from defending themselves against leaks and fake information.
Amaral, who has a young daughter of his own, has also been accused of concealing evidence that a team of his officers beat a confession out of a Portuguese woman who was jailed for the murder of her missing eight-year-old daughter.
'He is convinced she is dead'

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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