have not received details of police evidence 'Find Madeleine' fund will not pay
for legal defence
The parents of Madeleine McCann are considering commissioning their own
independent forensic testing of the vehicle in which the Portuguese police
allege that traces of their missing daughter's body were found, it was reported
A Portuguese magistrate is currently studying a dossier of evidence against
Kate and Gerry McCann, which includes details of their daughter's DNA allegedly
found in their hired Renault Scenic car. The evidence is said to relate to two
samples found in the car, one of blood, the other of unspecified bodily fluids,
and to a further quantity of hair allegedly discovered in the car's boot.
But the BBC last night quoted a source close to Mr and Mrs McCann who said they
were considering carrying out their own tests on the vehicle, which was being
kept in a "safe place to avoid any possibility of evidence being planted".
Local police are investigating a theory that the couple killed their daughter
on May 3, perhaps by accident, and used the vehicle to transport her body at a
later time. The Renault was not hired until 25 days after Madeleine disappeared
from the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal. Mr
and Mrs McCann have spoken of their fears that they are being framed.
Despite having been named as official suspects in the investigation, the couple
have not been given details of the evidence around which the police are
building their case. In further unconfirmed reports yesterday it was claimed
that the Portuguese investigating magistrate, Pedro Anjos Frias, who was given
the 4,000-page dossier on Tuesday, may demand that they hand over some of their
possessions for further investigation, including Mrs McCann's diary and the
Cuddle Cat toy she has carried since Madeleine's disappearance.
In a separate development yesterday, the McCanns said that they would not seek
to use money raised as part of the campaign fund to find Madeleine to pay for
their defence. "They have decided not to seek to use those funds for their
legal support," a spokesman, David Hughes, said. "Gerry and Kate's
view is that if they take money from the fund it might be that 90% of people
who made donations aren't bothered about it. But if 10% of people are bothered
about it, they don't want to upset them."
The fund's trustees later said that they had decided not to permit the money to
be used for lawyers' fees, despite expert advice that it would have been legal.
There was speculation in Portugal's Jornal de Noticias newspaper yesterday that
Judge Anjos was considering asking British police to question the friends of
the McCanns who were on holiday with them when Madeleine vanished from their
apartment in the Praia da Luz resort, presumably to check their statements
against answers given to police by the McCanns in interviews last Thursday and
Under Portuguese law Judge Anjos has until the end of next week to decide
whether to take further action in the investigation, which might include
ordering further searches or reviewing the couple's bail conditions.