Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses Public prosecutor
Attorney General Fernando José Pinto Monteiro
THE parents of missing Madeleine McCann yesterday
challenged the police: "Find the body and prove we
The couple, who are suspected over the child's death
and the disposal her body, issued the startling
ultimatum as the public prosecutor in Portugal sent
the police case against them to a judge.
It is thought that the McCanns' high-powered lawyers
have told them that without a body it will be
extremely difficult for the authorities to press
close friend said: "The legitimate question to ask
Portuguese police is: 'Where is the body? Where is
the evidence that Madeleine is dead? We have got no
The change in the family's tone – just days after
the McCanns were still pleading for the search for
Madeleine to continue – surprised sources close to
"It seems remarkable that just days after the
McCanns were saying they thought Madeleine was still
alive and missing, now they're talking about a
body," a source said. "I don’t know if this is
really the McCanns speaking or just one of the
people working on their publicity campaign but it is
not the kind of comment to impress a team of
detectives who think you’re guilty."
The case against the McCanns detailed in the dossier
of evidence now before Judge Pedro Miguel dos Anjos
Frias appears to rest mainly on potentially damaging
forensic test results.
These are said to include Madeleine's DNA in traces
of bodily fluid, as well as a mass of hair,
discovered in the McCanns' hire car which was rented
25 days after she went missing on May 3.
Portugal's attorney general Fernando Jose Pinto
Monteiro has indicated the police investigation into
Kate and Gerry, both 39-year-old doctors, has not
ended and suggested stricter bail conditions could
be imposed on the couple.
Public prosecutor Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses,
based at Portimao on the Algarve, on Tuesday ordered
the 10 lever-arch police files in the case to go
before the judge.
Mr Jose Pinto Monteiro announced last night that he
was appointing a second public prosecutor to the
Luis Bilro Verao, from the Evora district in central
Portugal, will oversee the work of Portimao-based Mr
Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses.
friend of the McCanns said the family had been
advised that the prosecutor was probably either
seeking further guidance from the judge or applying
for the authority to carry out more searches. The
friend said the McCanns' new legal team, based in
London, was working around the clock to "get up to
speed on the case".
The McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, Carlos Pinto de
Abreu, yesterday hit out at Portugal’s justice
system in a scathing interview with a local
"It is more appropriate to break down the patience
of a believer and the reputation of an innocent man
than to identify those responsible," he said.
family friend said the speculation appeared to be
taking its toll on the McCanns, who left Praia da
Luz to return to their family home in Leicestershire
at the weekend.
The source said: "Two days ago Gerry was telling
everyone: 'I'm as strong as an ox'. Yesterday he was
not quite as ebullient. They fear they will be
summoned back at some stage.
They are innocent; they did not kill Madeleine and
dispose of her body." It was expected that fresh
searches would be ordered in Praia da Luz. Policia
Judiciaria spokesman Olegario Sousa refused to
confirm or deny the sites, but there was no sign of
searches at the church yesterday.
Gerry's brother John McCann said: "There is so much
speculation going on as to what the actual
information the Portuguese police have.
"If they have got something that suggests Madeleine
really is dead then for goodness sake tell the
family who have the strongest feeling for this."