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Police Bid To Seize Kate McCann's Diary

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX SPOKESMEN PHOTOS NEWS SEPTEMBER 2007
Original Source: SKY: 12 SEPTEMBER 2007
Updated: 14:23, Wednesday September 12, 2007
 
Prosecutors in the Madeleine McCann investigation have made an emergency application to seize her mother's private diary, say Sky News sources.

The judge in the case, Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias, has less than 24 hours to decide whether to grant the order.

Police sources believe Kate McCann's diary may hold clues to her daughter's disappearance.

The McCanns' spokesman David Hughes refused to comment on the development as he left the family house in Rothley, Leicestershire.

He faced the media circus waiting outside the couple's 600,000 four-bedroom home shortly after the family returned from a trip to a nearby park

When asked how the McCanns were, he replied: "They had a nice day out for a while. They seem fine."

He confirmed that the couple would return to Portugal if called in by police.

Earlier, it was reported the police wanted to confiscate Madeleine's toys, including her favourite Cuddle Cat.

Mr McCann's sister, Philomena McCann, said the possibility that police might seize the toy was a "disgrace".

"It would be extremely distressing for Kate because she has seen it as a symbol of her daughter since she went missing," she added.

She went on: "Why on earth do they ask for the toys now? Why didn't they think of this before?"

The judge is also sifting through a 4,000-page police dossier as Madeleine's parents face an agonising wait to learn if they will be charged over her disappearance.

He has 10 days to consider the contents - said to be stored in 10 lever arch files.

But a friend of the McCanns, who was quoting legal sources, believes it could take the judge weeks to go through the papers.

"Our understanding is there's no filtering process whatsoever - everything is in there," he said. "The judge has had the kitchen sink thrown at him."

It is not known if prosecutor Jose Cunha de Magalhaes e Meneses is recommending charging Kate and Gerry McCann over their daughter's disappearance.

Lawyers in Portugal say it is more likely he wants to carry out fresh searches, conduct more interviews, or impose stricter bail conditions.

Officers are planning new searches in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine went missing, including digging around the village church of Nossa Senhora da Luz, according to Portuguese newspapers.

Police spokesman Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa refused to confirm or deny the reports.

It is known Kate and Gerry McCann, both 39-year-old doctors, were given a key to the church so they could go and pray for their daughter any time they wanted.

There is no sign yet of any searches being carried out at the church, which still has yellow and green Madeleine ribbons on the pews and altar.

Sky News Online's Kate Sullivan, who flew back from Portugal with the McCanns, said: "It's a small, well-tended church just up from the beach.

"But around the back there's a fenced-off building site area. The ground's been dug up and workmen are laying foundations."

Mr and Mrs McCann were declared "arguidos", or formal suspects, in the case during police questioning in Portimao last Friday.

They flew out of the country to their home in Rothley, Leicestershire, two days later.

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