Portuguese police chief who led the investigation into the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann has said he is "convinced"
she is dead.
Amaral said: "I am convinced of it, yes,"
48, was removed from the case last October after publicly
criticising British police.
today: "I am not saying that the English police were under
the command of the McCanns, but they were influenced, as we
In a way,
we were all influenced by the campaign that they organised,
according to which the girl was alive and had to be found."
retired earlier this week, saying he wanted to have "freedom
of expression" over the case.
described the decision to remove him from the investigation
as "unjust and dangerous" and is expected to publish a book
as soon as judicial secrecy restrictions are lifted,
probably in mid-August.
police have already closed their investigation.
case report has been passed to the Portuguese authorities
who are due to review the completed file and decide if
further action is required.
went missing in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday,
from a holiday flat in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz
as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant.
family and the British media have strongly criticised the
Portuguese judicial police's handling of the investigation
and Amaral's lack of communication.
subsequently claimed that British police had "been
investigating leads created and cultivated" by Madeleine's
parents and had "forgotten that the couple are suspects in
the death of their daughter."